Category Archives: Vegetarian.

Sweet Potato Quinoa Burgers

I’m a big fan of burgers– meat and vegetarian. I see the latter as a separate food entirely, and not a replacement for the former, which I think makes me love them even more. Try these simple vegetarian burgers on toasted English muffins with ketchup or any other topping you love.

IngredientsĀ (for six burgers)

1 sweet potato

1/2 cup quinoa

1 cup water

1 egg

1/2 onion, chopped finely

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 tsp fresh ginger

pinch of salt

Make Em:

Rinse the quinoa well, or else it will be bitter. Bring the water to a boil, then add the rinsed quinoa and cook over low heat 8-10 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, grate your sweet potato. You need about 1-1/2 cups of grated sweet potato for six burgers. Place the grated potato in a colander and press on it with a spatula to release as much liquid as possible– if it’s too wet, your burgers will fall apart!

Combine your shredded potato, quinoa, onions, bread crumbs, and spices in a bowl. Beat the egg separately and fold in. Using your hands, form six patties, about one inch thick and roughly uniform so they cook evenly. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with a teaspoon or two of cooking oil with a high smoking point (I use safflower.) Cook the burgers 5-8 minutes on each side, flipping halfway in between.

These keep well in the fridge– you can microwave them to reheat without any sacrifice in flavor or texture.


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Filed under Meals, Vegetarian.

Avocado Sweet Potato Soup

Avocados are wonderfully versatile, and you find them in all kinds of recipes– on BLTs, in salads, salsas, even desserts. They also add a creaminess to soup that leaves one feeling satisfied without using any cream or coconut milk. If this soup sounds odd, trust me and give it a whirl. It’s easy, and it has a distinctly Southwestern taste, a nice balance of sweet and spicy.

A warning: This soup is spicy!! If you don’t like spice, skip the jalapenos.

This is a doubled and altered version of the recipe here.


2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into dice-sized pieces

2 avocados, peeled and chopped

1-1/2 jalapenos, minced

2 tsp applewood smoked salt (This stuff adds a wonderful bacony taste to things)

1 Tbsp cumin

ground black pepper, to taste

7 cups water

1 lime

1 Tbsp fresh cilantro (optional)

Make It:

Combine everything but the lime and cilantro in a pot. Bring to a boil for 15-20 minutes, then puree til smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Squeeze in the juice of one lime just before serving, and garnish with cilantro if desired.

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Filed under Soups and Salads, Vegetarian.

Honey Oatmeal Waffles

I love waffles. In college, if you wanted a truly warm dinner (instead of the usual lukewarm,) your best option was to make yourself a waffle in one of the dining halls’ Belgian waffle irons, and in the winter I lived off them. It’s warm here, but these are still comfort food. You can find the original recipe for these here.


1 cup oats

1-1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

2 eggs, separated

1-1/2 cups milk

4 T butter, melted

3 T honey

Make Em

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with foil and spread oats in pan, baking for ten minutes (tossing occasionally) to toast the oats. Turn off the oven and let the oats cool, then pulse in a food processor until ground to a powder.

Preheat your waffle iron. Beat egg whites to stiff peaks.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, mixing well. Mix in egg yolks, milk, butter, and honey. Gently fold in egg whites. Pour 3/4 cup at a time into your waffle iron– these waffles are fluffy, and if you leave them in the iron for a while, they get crispy on the outside and soft within. Serve with honey and bananas.

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Filed under Meals, Uncategorized, Vegetarian.

Black Bean Soup

Beans are pretty much magic. They’re full of fiber AND protein, and they’re inexpensive. I cook with them all the time, and this is one of my favorite things to do with black beans.

I use canned tomatoes, beans, and other products, but there’s a lot of fear about BPA poisoning, so if you like, prep some dried beans and use fresh tomatoes and tomato juice. This recipe comes from the fantastic Moosewood Cooks at Home.


10 sun dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped
3 minced garlic cloves
1 jalapeno chile pepper, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup water
28-ounce can of diced tomatoes, with the liquid
2 14-ounce cans of black beans, with the liquid
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Make It:

Put your sun dried tomatoes in a bowl with boiling water to soften them for ten minutes. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a pan over medium-high heat, and add the onion, cooking for five minutes, then the garlic and pepper. Cook another two minutes, then add the water, cumin, tomatoes, and black beans. Bring to a boil and then simmer. Chop the re-hydrated sun dried tomatoes and add them to the soup. At this point, you have a choice: You can puree half the soup in a blender and return it to the pot, or enjoy the soup as is. I usually do the latter, letting it cook for an hour or so to break down the beans. Stir in cilantro one minute before serving.


Filed under Soups and Salads, Vegetarian.

Carrots and Coconut and Curry, oh my!

These babies are one of the few products of my garden experiment, which went horribly awry this year…

My old roomie Emily and I shared a garden plot for a class in college, and I really enjoyed everything about gardening. Particularly the smell of warm dirt and that intense pride that comes from cooking something you made from nothing. From seeds.

So I decided to get a community plot here in Charlottesville. I envisioned a miniature farm, where everything grew perfectly and I had enough time to water, weed, plant, and harvest despite the fact that I was up to my eyeballs in science classes. Right. What I ended up with are weeds significantly taller than I am, although there are also robust basil plants, armfuls of lettuce, happy tomato, zucchini, and cucumber plants– and these carrots, which I pulled out of the ground the other day. Let’s capitalize, then, on the results of this failed gardening experiment, while I try to determine how I could scale down my garden ambitions into something manageable for next year.


2 lbs carrots, scrubbed, peeled, and chopped

1 onion, diced

1/3 cup unsalted peanuts (optional)

a few tablespoons of olive oil

2 cups vegetable stock (I usedĀ bouillonĀ cubes and water)

2/3 can coconut milk

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp powdered ginger

1 tsp ground coriander

salt and pepper, to taste

fresh cilantro as garnish (optional)

Make It:

Saute the onion, carrots, and peanuts in the olive oil until soft in the bottom of a stockpot. Pour in the broth, bring to a boil, then simmer. Run this chunky mixture through your blender or food processor (in batches, venting so you don’t get splattered!) and then return to the stockpot, mixing in coconut milk and spices. Adjust seasonings as desired, then serve with good bread. Garnish with fresh cilantro, if available. Or feta cheese.


Filed under Soups and Salads, Vegetarian.

You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello!

Hi friends! Semester’s over. MCATS are done (hopefully). And I’ve moved into a new place with a cramped but lovely kitchen– with windows. Yep, time to start blogging again.

Tonight I’m cooking dinner for the boyfriend, who is going away for a time to work on his doctoring skills. And what better way to say “safe travels” than with vegetarian lasagna?

And not just any lasagna. The BEST lasagna. Loaded with broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, and fresh basil.

I don’t really have a lasagna recipe– more like, I know how to make it roughly and I improvise. So I will lay out a plan of attack for you here, with some ingredient suggestions, and show you how to do the layers.

You Will Need:

Sauce, either store-bought or homemade. I made my own with diced tomatoes, tomato paste, oodles of basil, oregano, salt, lots of crushed red pepper and garlic. You will need a LOT of sauce. At least a quart. Maybe more.

Noodles. Cook them until they’re just about edible. You want them tough still, but at the point where another few minutes would render them al dente.

Cheese. In two forms. First, you need a few cups of mozzarella. Then, you need a container of ricotta, with an egg and at least a cup of parmesan mixed in. You could throw some feta in there, too. I like to saute some frozen chopped spinach (just to dry it out a bit) and put that in, and some salt.

Veggies. Saute some broccoli florets, stick-thin carrots… you could use peppers, too. You want them dehydrated so they don’t make the lasagna mushy. I like also to douse them in red wine, to tie them into the dish some more.


Turn your oven on to 350. First, you put a little bit of sauce on the naked pan. Then you lay down a layer of noodles. I use a scissors to make sure they fit right. Then, dollops of the ricotta cheese blend. Some mozzarella if you want. Then veggies. Then sauce. Then start over with noodles– but this time, go in the other direction so your layers are perpendicular; this will keep the lasagna together. When you’re out of space, top with mozzarella. Stick it in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Then, VERY IMPORTANT: Resist the urge to jump right in while it’s hot out of the oven. The lasagna needs to sit at least 10 minutes or it will fall apart and all your beautiful layers will devolve into a mass of noodles, broccoli, and cheese…. then again, there are worse things.

Lasagna is one of my favorites because, although it takes some prep work, it serves as great leftovers for the rest of the week. Once I’ve eaten it all, though, we’ll get down to business with some thai-inspired carrot soup….


Filed under Meals, Vegetarian.

Best Hummus Ever.

Not much else to say, really. This stuff is a good source of fiber, monounsaturated fats, and a little protein. And it goes on pita, bread, vegetables, in sandwiches… yum. Recipe sourced from here.


1 15-oz can garbanzo beans/ chickpeas

1 clove garlic (or 1/2 tsp minced garlic from the jar)

2 T tahini sauce

1/4 cup olive oil

2 T water

juice from 1/2 a lemon

2 tsp cumin

salt, to taste

Paprika as garnish

Make It:

Rinse the chickpeas really well in a colander. Dump into a food processor or blender along with garlic, tahini, olive oil, water, lemon juice, and cumin. Puree until smooth. The amount of water may vary based on your taste. I had to stir my mixture with a spatula a few times to get it to blend… worth it. Best hummus ever.

Possible variations: Add roasted red pepper and cut back on olive oil, add fresh herbs such as cilantro, and of course, you can add Sriracha to anything for some heat!

How do you like your hummus?

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Filed under Appetizers, Vegetarian.