Plant Powered Protein Day 10: Spinach // Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes Recipe with Spinach, Corn and Beans

Plant Powered Protein Day 10: Spinach // Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes Recipe with Spinach, Corn and Beans

It’s day 10 of our #PlantPoweredProtein series and that means we’ve come to the end! I hope you’ve found this series to be as interesting as I have! We’re concluding today with an oldie but goodie: Spinach.

Growing up, I hated spinach. Ha-ted. My grandma used to make homemade ravioli and I would practically throw a fit if I saw that she used spinach in the ricotta. Today, I love it. In fact, I love it so much that I think back to the times when I despised it and wonder how that even happened! Spinach is obviously included in this series because with just 1 cup of spinach, you’ll benefit from over 6 grams of protein.

Spinach is also known to improve the health of our skin and hair, aid in digestion, maintain bone health as well as…

  • Improving our eye sight: As a rich source of beta-carotene, spinach can prevent vitamin A deficiencies, dry eyes and itchy eyes.
  • Strengthens our muscles: C0-Q10 is an antioxidant that plays an important role in strengthening muscles, especially heart muscles. C0-Q10 can be used to prevent and treat many cardiovascular diseases and spinach just happens to be an awesome source of C0-Q10.
  • Vitamin K: Spinach is a good source of Vitamin K, which helps us retain calcium. With other minerals like manganese, copper, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus also helping to build strong bones / preventing the development of osteoporosis, we also benefit from healthy teeth and nails.
  • Metabolism boost: The protein found in spinach is easily broken down by enzymes into amino acids that are essential to the health of humans, which help our muscles grow, our bodies heal wounds and even give our metabolism a boost.

 

Spinach is one of those foods that, like many others in this series, you can use in so many different ways. Today, we’re making a twice baked sweet potato with spinach, corn and black bean filling. I had one of my best friends over for lunch today and we had these – they were delicious! I served mine alongside some carrot and broccoli quinoa cakes and a cashew cream parfait with blackberries, raspberries and granola. Yum!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large organic sweet potato
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of salsa
  • 1 can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can organic corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup (packed) organic baby spinach

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • Wash and scrub your sweet potato under cold running water.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place sweet potato onto sheet. Using a fork, poke several holes over the surface of the potato.
  • Place baking sheet with potato in oven and bake until tender, about 1 hour.
  • While potato is baking, in a large skillet, add olive oil, black beans, corn and salsa over medium heat. Cook until beans and corn are soft, about 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add spinach and continue to cook until spinach reduces in size and softens, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
  • Remove potato from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Once cooled, cut potato in half and scoop out the flesh using a large spoon, leaving enough on the base so the skin holds its shape.
  • Add flesh to skillet with beans, corn and spinach, stirring to combine all ingredients.
  • Scoop mixture back into potato halves, put back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
  • Top with salsa or any other desired toppings (cilantro, guacamole, etc.) and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Be Well,

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Plant Powered Protein Day 9: Peas // Avocado Pea Toast

Plant Powered Protein Day 9: Peas // Avocado Pea Toast

If peas were on your “refuse to eat” list as a kid, I hope you’ll reconsider them as an adult because they are amazing.

Seriously? Amazing? They’re just…peas.

Maybe so, but check it:

  • Protein: Green peas are one of the best sources of plant-based protein. 1 cup of peas provides nearly 10g of protein.
  • Fiber: Yup, we’re bringing up fiber again. 1 cup of peas gives you nearly 9g of fiber which you know is great for our digestive systems and weight management. The fiber and protein content in peas also help to control blood sugar levels.
  • B-Vitamins: Folate, vitamins B6 and B12 are abundant in peas, which help to create red blood cells and in turn, carry nutrients and oxygen to our cells.
  • Vitamin C: While your first instinct when you get a cold might be to reach for an orange or orange juice, know that 1 cup of peas gives us 97% of our daily recommended intake of vitamin C.
  • Vitamins and minerals: Peas are a really rich source of other essential minerals like calcium, iron, copper, manganese as well as vitamins K and A (great for our eye health).

 

Peas are super easy to add to soups (split pea soup is a favorite of mine), stir fry dishes, pastas, salads and more. For my fellow #AvocadoToast lovers out there, this recipe is for you:

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread (I am using sprouted grain Ezekiel bread)
  • 1/2 cup peas (if frozen, prepare according to package instructions)
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • Juice of 1 small lime
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt + pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Chia + hemp seeds (optional)

Instructions:

  • Toast your bread, set aside.
  • Place peas, lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper into a bowl. Using a fork, mash the peas and mix ingredients together.
  • Add avocado and stir to combine, mashing some of the avocado pieces.
  • Scoop mixture onto toast and sprinkle with red pepper flakes and chia + hemp seeds.

Enjoy!

Be Well,

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Plant Powered Protein Day 8: Black Beans // Chipotle-Inspired Burrito Bowl

Plant Powered Protein Day 8: Black Beans // Chipotle-Inspired Burrito Bowl

Day 8 of our #PlantPoweredProtein series brings us to black beans. Black beans are another food that I genuinely love because of their versatility in recipes. From black bean burgers to soups to stews to brownies (yes, brownies!), I love how easy black beans are to cook with, and their extremely mild flavor make them a great addition to almost any recipe. A few other reasons to consider adding black beans into your diet:

  • Protein: A 1 cup serving of black beans gives us 15 grams of protein or ~30% of our recommended daily intake.
  • Fiber: A 1 cup serving of black beans also gives us 15 grams of fiber, providing more than 50% of the recommended daily intake! Due to their high fiber content, black beans are filling, but their combination of complex carbohydrates and protein also helps fill us up. As Dr. Axe puts it, “The macronutrients found in beans, including fiber, work together to give us a feeling of satiety after eating.”
  • Aiding in digestive issues: With their high levels of fiber and protein, black beans are great at helping regulate our digestive systems by helping food move through the digestive tract. They also take longer for our bodies to digest than meat, leaving us fuller, longer. Lastly, because they’re smaller in size as compared to other beans, they’re more likely to be easier to digest.
  • Blood sugar control: Because black beans are relatively easy to digest and take our bodies longer to digest, they’re also great a helping us regulate our blood sugar levels, making it less likely that our blood sugar will peak and then crash.
  • Improved heart heat: Black beans reduce inflammation and are exceptionally high in soluble fiber, which helps flight heart disease. As fiber removes waste from the body, it helps to reduce inflammation, keeping arteries clear from the build up of dangerous plague.

If you’re like me and love Chipotle, I always enjoy trying to recreate their burrito bowls at home. So today, we’re going to do just that! This is an adaptation of FabLunch’s DIY Chipotle Burrito Bowl.

Ingredients:

Cilantro lime Rice:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBS fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 TBS lime juice

Garlic Beans:

  • 1 can of organic black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder

Vegetables:

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Toppings:

  • Fresh salsa (whatever your favorite may be)
  • Guacamole

Instructions:

  • Cook rice according to package instructions. Before water starts to boil, add salt. Once rice is cooked, placed into a large mixing bowl and add lime juice and cilantro. Mix well.
  • Combine all ingredients for garlic beans in small pot over medium heat for five minutes.
  • Slice peppers and onion into strips.
  • Add olive oil to skillet. Once oil begins to shimmer, add onions and sauté over medium – high heat for 3 – 5 minutes.
  • Add peppers to onions and cook for additional five minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper and continue to cook until vegetables are soft.
  • For serving, divide rice, beans and veggies into two servings and top with desired toppings!

Enjoy!

What are your favorite ways to incorporate black beans into your diet?

Be Well,

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Plant Powered Protein Day 7: Nuts // Easy Granola Bar Recipe

Plant Powered Protein Day 7: Nuts // Easy Granola Bar Recipe

It’s day 7 of our #PlantPoweredProtein series and we’re going a little nuts on the blog! Today, we’re going to dive into five different kinds of nuts that are a great source of protein / other yummy health benefits as well as a really easy granola bar recipe.

Almonds:

  • Almonds promote a healthy heart, support strong bones / teeth and aid in weight loss.
  • Protein: A 1.5oz serving of almonds provides over 9g of protein.
  • Vitamin E: A 1oz serving of almonds dishes around 37% of our recommended daily intake of Vitamin E and is considered to be one of the best sources for it out there. What’s great about Vitamin E is that it does things like: fights free radicals in our bodies and helps to prevent disease, repairs our skin by improving moisture and elasticity and fights of inflammation.
  • Antioxidants: Almonds are a wonderful source of antioxidants, many of which are found in the brown layer of skin.

 

Cashews:  

  • Cashews promote heart health, increase our levels of energy, boost brain function and support healthy bones and blood.
  • Protein: Cashews offer 6.5 grams of protein per a 1.5 oz serving.
  • Blood health: The copper and iron content in cashews are a great combination that help our bodies form and utilize red blood cells, which keep our immune system, bones, nerves and blood vessels healthy and functioning properly. Cashews contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which are essential fatty acids that have been associated with lower levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol and higher levels of healthy HDL cholesterol. Consuming these healthy fats may help decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Eye health: Everyone knows that carrots keep our eyes healthy, but did you know that cashews do, too? Cashew nuts contain small amounts of zeaxanthin – an important antioxidant – which gets selectively absorbed into the eye and protects our eyes from harmful high-energy light waves like ultraviolet rays in sunlight..
  • Awesome “cream” substitute: cashews are used a lot in the plant-based community as a substitute for cream and/or cheese. I have made “cheese” cream sauces, ricotta “cheese”, pesto sauce, dips, etc. using cashews and you can hardly tell the difference! In fact, I think it makes the dishes taste even better.

 

Pistachios:

  • Pistachios boost brain health, support blood sugar regulation and weight loss and improve good cholesterol. 
  • Protein: 9g of protein can be found in 1.5oz of pistachios and 20% of a pistachio’s weight is in protein. Plus, they’re amongst the lowest-calorie nuts.
  • Fiber: Pistachios are high in fiber, with over 3g per serving. In other good news for our guts: pistachios can increase the number of butyrate-producing bacteria in our gut, which help reduced the risk of developing digestive disorders and heart disease.
  • Vitamin and mineral-rich: Pistachios are rich in essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, etc.
  • Fun to eat: Plain and simple, pistachios are just fun to eat, and, they’re a great snack for weight loss. Since the process for eating pistachios is a little more involved by having to crack the shell, you’re more likely to recognize when you’re full vs. just mindlessly snacking.

 

Walnuts:

  • Walnuts promote heart health, support blood sugar regulation and insulin response and reduce inflammation.
  • Protein: 1.5oz of walnuts contain almost 7g of protein.
  • Brain function: Not to be weird, but have you ever noticed how a walnut looks like a little brain? It’s no coincidence that they’re great for brain health. Walnuts have a high concentration of DHA (a type of Omega-3 fatty acid), which has been shown to protect brain health in newborns, improve cognitive performance in adults, and help prevent age-related cognitive decline, according to Brain HQ. 1/4 cup of walnuts gives us almost 100% of the recommended daily intake of DHA.
  • Cardiovascular benefits: Walnuts can help lower cholesterol, protect us against free radicals and decrease unhealthy inflammation in our bodies.

 

Peanuts:

  • Peanuts promote heart health, support brain health and reduce inflammation.
  • Protein: Over 10g of protein can be found in 1.5oz of peanuts, with the protein content ranging from 22-30% of peanuts calories.
  • Healthy heart: While peanuts may get a bad rap because of their high fat content, they contain heart-healthy fats like monounsaturated fats, which as we’ve talked about throughout this series, are associated with lower cardiovascular risk.
  • Essential vitamins and minerals: Peanuts are great sources of biotin, copper, folate, manganese, Vitamin E and magnesium.

A few other things to note…

  • Always try to buy your nuts raw (check the bulk food bins!) and either eat them raw or roast them yourself at home. If you’re unable to find raw nuts, look for nuts that are dry roasted. Dry roasted nuts are less likely to have oil or other additives that you don’t want / need. When you’re roasting nuts at home, simply turn your oven on to 350 degrees, place the raw nuts on a baking sheet and roast until they’re a little darker on color and fragrant. No need for oil and you can mix the nuts with any spices after they’re done roasting and are still warm.
  • Read your food labels. I’m such a huge advocate for reading food labels because I really want to help people understand just what’s going into their food, and in turn, what they’re putting into their bodies! If you’re going to buy packaged nuts, make sure that the label has ingredients that you recognize and can read/pronounce. A good rule of thumb: the shorter the list of ingredients, the better:
    • “Cashews, almonds, sea salt.”
    • Avoid options that have an ingredient list like: “Cashews, almonds, peanuts, peanut oil, corn syrup, sea salt, fructose, cornstarch, xanthan gum.”
  • Best way to store nuts is in a cool, dry pantry or cupboard. If your pantry is stocked to the brim and you’re out of storage, keep your nuts in the freezer — they’ll stay crunchy and fresh. Always be sure to store them in an air-tight or sealed container.

 

And now for today’s recipe, I love making granola bars that are simple and easy. These are great for a “grab and go” breakfast on your way out the door or just a snack throughout your day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup packed Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 TBS of chia + hemp seeds
  • ½ cup dried blueberries

 

Instructions:

  • Line a baking dish with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on the sides for easy removal. Set aside.
  • In a food processor, mix dates and maple syrup together until they kind of form a paste.
  • In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, chia + hemp seeds and dried blueberries.
  • Add date mixture to the rest of your ingredients and mix until combined (I used my hands to mix everything — much easier to handle!).
  • Scoop mixture into baking dish and firmly press into an even layer.
  • Chill in freezer for about 30 minutes until firm. When your 30 minutes are up, take the dish out of the freezer and lift sides of parchment paper to remove. Cut into bars and serve. Enjoy!

 

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What kind of nut is your favorite to eat?  🙂

Be Well,

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Plant Powered Protein Day 6: Quinoa // Sweet Potato Apple Quinoa Salad

Plant Powered Protein Day 6: Quinoa // Sweet Potato Apple Quinoa Salad

Welcome to day 6 of our #PlantPoweredProtein series! Throughout this series, one of my objectives has been to be discussing or introducing you to foods that are versatile to cook with or use in your diet and today’s topic is one my favorites for just that: quinoa.

For starters, if quinoa is unfamiliar to you and the name is throwing you off, it’s pronounced “keenwah.” I have used quinoa in tacos, in stuffed peppers, in granola bars, in salads, in breakfast bowls, in veggie burgers…the list goes on. Why do I love it so much?

  • Protein: According to mindbodygreen, quinoa is “one of the most protein-rich foods that we can eat” and it’s a complete protein, containing all essential amino acids.
  • Fiber: Yes, we’re talking about fiber again…you’re getting the picture of how important it is for us now, right? 🙂 Get this: quinoa has twice as much fiber as most other grains.
  • High in Riboflavin (B2): B2 helps to create proper energy production in cells and improves energy metabolism within our brain and muscle cells.
  • It’s technically a seed: While quinoa is prepared like a grain, it is actually a member of the same family as spinach, chard and beets. Isn’t that interesting? According to the Bob’s Red Mill brand:

“Quinoa is the seed of the Chenopodium plant, a green leafy plant that sprouts numerous flowers. Occasionally, different parts of the plant are used for medicinal purposes, and the leaves are eaten as a vegetable. Still, quinoa is mostly grown for its seeds which are cooked similarly to rice and can be used in a large variety of recipes.”

  • It comes in a variety of colors, all of which impact quinoa differently:
    • White quinoa: White quinoa has the lightest taste and a fluffier texture, making it a great substitute for rice dishes.
    • Red quinoa: Red quinoa and brown rice have a similar nutty flavor. Red quinoa is often used in baking because it’s a little chewy and hold its shape well.
    • Black quinoa: Black quinoa’s flavor is sweet and “earthy.” This variety is also awesome for baking and cooking and is best used in things like muffins and oatmeal.

Quinoa Pro Tips:

  • Rinse your quinoa before cooking with it. Even if your package says pre-rinsed, rinse it again anyway. Quinoa contains a protective layer or coating called “saponin.” This coating isn’t dangerous or anything if ingested, but it will definitely make your quinoa taste bitter if it’s not rinsed off.
  • The little “tails” that come out after cooking are totally normal. If you have ever looked at uncooked quinoa seeds up close, you’ll notice that they’re oval in shape and have an outer germ layer around each oval.
  • When cooked the seed becomes soft, while the outer germ layer remains crunchy and twists outwards away from the seed. Kind of cool, right?

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is actually a dish that I’m taking to a family Christmas party this afternoon! It’s a sweet potato apple quinoa salad by  Deb Attinella of  Cooking on the Front Burner. I hope you like it as much as I do!

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced 1/4
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 granny smith apple, cored and diced 1/2
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, roasted
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Toss the sweet potatoes with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and spread out onto a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast for about 15 – 20 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes until lightly brown and soft.
  • While your sweet potatoes are roasting, prepare quinoa (rinse well) then place cider and quinoa into a medium saucepan; bring to boil; turn to simmer then cover and cook about 15 – 20 minutes (toss your cranberries near the end of the cooking time).
  • In a medium bowl add the slightly cooled quinoa, cranberries, sweet potatoes, apples, red onion and toss well.
  • In a small food processor combine the maple syrup, shallot, dijon mustard, vinegar and a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Slowly add in the olive oil and mix well.
  • Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss.
  • Top with the roasted pecans and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

What’s your favorite way to have quinoa? 🙂

Be Well,

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Plant Powered Protein Day 4: Spirulina // Green Smoothie Recipe

Plant Powered Protein Day 4: Spirulina // Green Smoothie Recipe

Day 4 of #PlantPoweredProtein and if you thought yesterday’s topic was interesting, I can’t wait for you to check out today’s: spirulina.

Have you heard of it before? If not, plain and simple, it’s a natural “algae” that is super high in protein (one of the world’s highest vegetarian sources of complete protein) and a really great source of antioxidants, B-vitamins and other nutrients. It grows naturally around the world in warm, fresh water-bodies where there is abundant sunlight.

Wait…like, pond scum?

Kind of! But hear me out. This superfood (a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being) is one of nature’s “near-perfect foods.”  It helps our immune systems, gives us a boost of immediate energy and aids in naturally cleansing our bodies of toxins and impurities. Purchased primarily in a powder or pill/tablet form, this green goodness is also amazing for…

  • Protein: Spirulina is 50-70% protein by weight. 3 tablespoons of would provide comparable amounts of protein to two large eggs or a half a serving of chicken breast.
  • Vitamin B1: Vitamin B1 is an essential vitamin that is necessary for helping our bodies digest proteins and fats. It’s also used for increased energy, eye health, brain function and for improving nerve function.
  • Essential nutrients like chlorophyll: Yup, as in the chlorophyll you learned about in science class. Chlorophyll is incredibly abundant in spirulina and does awesome things like extracts toxins from our liver and purifies our blood, Plus, it’s rich in enzymes that give our cells rejuvenation, cleanses and detoxifies, etc.

 

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A few other things to note:

 

Here’s our super quick and easy green smoothie recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of water or nut milk (add more, depending on preferred consistency)
  • 2 heaping handfuls of spinach (or a leafy green of your choice)
  • 1 – 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup of frozen fruit or berries (I had frozen mango in my freezer that I tossed in mine!)
  • 1 TBS of spirulina powder (I just crushed up my spirulina tablets into a powder, which worked perfectly)
  • Toppings of your choosing: I went with a drizzle of organic peanut butter, chia + hemp seed mixture and a little bit of Purely Elizabeth chocolate sea salt probiotic granola (which I am very much addicted to, by the way… #noshame).

 

Instructions:

  • Blend your greens + liquid first. This helps to break up the greens, preventing a “chunky” smoothie.
  • Add your frozen fruit + spirulina powder and blend.
  • Finish off with your toppings and enjoy!

What’s your favorite smoothie recipe? 🙂 Feel free to share it in the comments!

Be Well,

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Plant Powered Protein Day 2: Lentils // Lentil Burger + Sweet Potato Chips Recipe

Plant Powered Protein Day 2: Lentils // Lentil Burger + Sweet Potato Chips Recipe

Day two of our #PlantPoweredProtein series brings us to lentils. While lentils may sound pretty boring to talk about, they’re one of my favorite members of the legume family. Not only are they an excellent source of lean protein (around 18g of protein per 1 cup and less than 1g of fat), but they are such a versatile food to cook with. I’ve had them in soups, salads, chili, tacos…and today, we have them in burgers (see recipe below). But before we get to that, here’s a little more about why you should love lentils, too.

  • Fiber: Eating proper amounts of fiber is incredibly important for our bodies and yet most of us don’t get nearly as much as we should. Lentils pack about 16g of fiber per 1 cup, putting you well on your way to the recommended daily intake of 25-30g of fiber per day. The fiber content of lentils also help to keep us fuller longer, which is great for weight management, and because lentils are super rich in dietary fiber, they make our gut happy. Lentils contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which help with things like keeping you regular, aiding in preventing digestive disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Diverticulitis (inflammation of the small pouches aka diverticula of our digestive tract), reducing the risk of heart disease, regulating blood sugar…just to name a few.
  • Healthy heart: Because lentils contain soluble fiber, they’re great at lowering cholesterol / helping to keep our cholesterol levels in a healthy balance and preventing hypertension. Lentils are also very low in fat and sodium, which help us maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
  • Essential Nutrients: Iron, folate, magnesium and zinc are abundant in lentils and these are just some of the key minerals that our bodies depend on for a healthy immune system.
  • Inexpensive: Adequate sources of protein do not have to break the bank. Lentils are an awesome source of inexpensive protein and can be found in most bulk food sections of grocery stores for cheap! Your body and wallet will thank you. 🙂

 

Okay, lets get to the yummy stuff…these lentil burgers. I found this recipe from Vegan Richa that sounded really yummy and I’m adapting our recipe from that.  We’re making lentil cauliflower burgers with sweet potato chips and let me tell you….this meal is bomb.

Ingredients

For the burger patties:

  • 1/2 cup dried lentils. I used green lentils, but you can use whatever variety you like.
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (or water, but the burgers will be less flavorful)
  • 1 tsp salt, divided in half
  • 1 tsp garlic powder, divided in half
  • 1 tsp cumin powder, divided in half
  • 2 cups of grated cauliflower. Pro tip: buy the packaged cauliflower that’s already grated for you…time saver!
  • 1 small jalapeño, diced (as always, omit if you don’t care for spice)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 TBS almond flour (or whatever flour you prefer)
  • 2 TBS chia and/or hemp seeds (optional) – I decided to toss these in there for a little extra boost of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

 

For the sweet potato chips:

  • 1 organic sweet potato
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt or pink himalayan salt (optional)

 

Directions:

Believe it or not, our chips actually take the longest to make so we’ll start with those. I love this sweet potato chip recipe from Minimalist Baker. She has everything down to a science and these chips always come out perfectly crisp and yummy!

I will warn you that this recipe does take a little time / patience, so these are great to make ahead of time or on the weekend.

  • Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
  • Thoroughly rinse and dry your sweet potato and slice it as uniformly thin as possible (I used my mandolin and it worked perfectly. If you don’t have one, just use a very sharp knife to get the slices as thin and consistent in size as you can.
  • Toss slices in 1 TBS of olive oil to lightly coat, then sprinkle with salt. Lay out in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for about 2 hours (this is the patience part), flipping the chips once at the halfway point to ensure even cooking.
  • Remove the chips once they’re crisp and golden brown. It’s okay if some of them feel a little tender in the middle — take them out and let them rest for at least 10 minutes to continue to crisp up.
  • Serve immediately if possible. If not, store in a sealed container.

 

Now for the burgers!

  • Bump up your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Soak the lentils in hot water for one hour (at the very least).
  • Get your onion going on the stove in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil and medium – high heat.  Once the onions become soft and translucent, rinse and drain the lentils and then add them to the pot to hang out with the onions for a couple of minutes, reducing the heat to medium and stirring to combine.

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  • Add your spices (1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 cumin powder) to the onions and lentils. Stir to combine, add your vegetable stock, stir again, cover and then cook on medium-low for about 45 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Stir occasionally.

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  • Next, grab your cauliflower and spread it out onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake the cauliflower for 15 minutes until some of the pieces get crispy.

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  • Add the cauliflower to the cooked lentils along with the rest of your ingredients (salt, garlic powder, cumin powder, chili powder and diced jalapeño).  Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

 

 

  • Add flour and stir until the mixture comes together, adding more flour if needed.

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  • Shape into burger patties by hand. Bake on parchment-lined baking sheet for 25-30 minutes at 400 degrees. I took my patties out at the 20 minute mark, flipped them and then put them back in the oven for another 10 minutes. The result? A nice crispy crust on the outside and tender goodness on the inside.
  • The patties can be made ahead, shaped and refrigerated and / or frozen.

And here is the finished product!  Oh how I wish you could smell my kitchen right now, you guys…those spices are so fragrant and yummy! I decided to top mine with a tiny bit of vegan mayo, sliced roasted red pepper and avocado! I opted for no bun…because well, 1. we don’t have any in our house and 2. these burgers are so filling, you really don’t even need one.

 

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Please let me know what you think of this recipe if you make it! <3

Be Well,

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