The Very Best Veggie Burgers

This year, I’ve been doing some teaching where cooking is concerned, and along with that comes learning on my part. Testing new recipes, experimenting with foods of different cultures and also trying my hand at a healthier way of cooking and eating. As I was working with a friend, we decided we’d like to try to find a recipe for a really good veggie burger. First of all, I wasn’t sure those four words really went together… “really good” and “veggie burger”. But, once again, I was wrong. This vegetable and grain-based patty is delightful. It’s bursting with flavors – we commented to each other that you could truly taste each vegetable in it and the bonus is, it’s packed with protein. Even my most lovable meat craving Sister thought it was delicious. That was a real surprise.

So, as we head into Lent, I thought this might be a good time to share this recipe. I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Blessed Lent to you!

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The Very Best Veggie Burgers
SERVINGS
8burgers
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
burgers
COOK TIME
35minutes
PREP TIME
25minutes, plus cooling time
READY IN
1 hour, plus cooling time

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Make the herb mayo: In a blender, combine all the herb mayo ingredients. Blend until smooth, then transfer to a bowl.
  2. Make the veggie burgers: In a 2-quart saucepan, bring the water and quinoa to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, until the quinoa is tender and all the water is absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Or cook the quinoa in a rice cooker, following manufacturer directions (I used 2 cups quinoa/2 cups water). You will be using 3 cups of cooked quinoa in this recipe.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, parsley and onion, and cook, stirring often, until the veggies are tender and lightly caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes. Then add the baby spinach to wilt along with the corn. Transfer to the bowl with the 3 cups of cooked quinoa and let cool.
  4. Once the vegetables-and-quinoa mixture has cooled, mix in the remaining veggie burger ingredients until incorporated. Form into 8 - ½ cup patties and shape. Lay out on a piece of wax paper.
  5. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook the veggie burgers until golden brown and crisp, 3 minutes per side.
  6. To assemble: Top each veggie burger with some of the herbed mayo and top with tomato and avocado. Serve while the burger is still warm with a side of sweet potato fries.

Tomato, Peach and Basil Flatbread

Flipping through a folder of collected food photos and recipes, my eye was captured by one that looked like a pizza—and yet it wasn’t.  

Here was a  bright combination of fresh fruit and vegetables, specifically sliced tomatoes and peaches on a flatbread topped with a mixture of ricotta and parmesan cheese.  What fun! With no recipe to follow, I launched into producing it on my own until I later found it written up in the June issue of “Cooking Light.”

If you’re looking for  a fun food that’s quick, easy, tastes great and is still healthy you will want to try this. Enjoy!

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Tomato, Peach and Basil Flatbread
SERVINGS
8servings (serving= 2 slices)
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
servings (serving= 2 slices)
COOK TIME
15mins
PREP TIME
5mins
READY IN
20mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill on medium high heat.
  2. Using a whisk, mix the ricotta, onion salt, oregano, and pepper in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Brush both sides of the Naan bread with oil and grill each side for 2 minutes and remove from grill.
  4. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the top, arranging the tomatoes, peaches and basil leaves as desired.
  5. Cut each naan into 8 slices and arrange on a plate to serve.

Vegetarian Cauliflower Steaks

A Recipe You’ve “Bean” Waiting For!

We want to be sure that vegetarian meals are provided for our guests or those attending events that prefer them. But often I simply enjoy just experimenting with fresh, garden ingredients. Here’s a new dish that is both vegetarian and gluten free. It also contain legumes – a wonderful and healthy source of protein. With lovely vegetables being harvested from our gardens, why not be creative? A friend in our community was my taste tester and she told me she couldn’t wait for me to post this recipe. It has all the flavors of summer with the basil, tomato and lemon. Buon appetito!

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Vegetarian Cauliflower Steaks
SERVINGS
4servings
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
servings
COOK TIME
20mins
PREP TIME
10mins
READY IN
45mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Cut a head of cauliflower into 1/2 inch ‘steaks’ from top to bottom
  2. Put cauliflower on a parchment lined tray and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with onion salt. Roast at 425 degrees F for 35 min or until golden brown and tender.
  3. Meanwhile, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil to a sauté pan and heat. Add diced red onion and sauté over medium low heat until soft. Add the garlic, parsley, basil and tomato and cook for another minute. Add the white wine and juice of one lemon and simmer until liquid is reduced. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the legumes and lemon zest - taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. When ready to eat, spoon the bean mixture over your roasted cauliflower steaks and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Serve warm with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and garnish with a sprig of fresh basil. Enjoy!

Stella’s Shrimp and Fettuccine

Sisters birthdays are a special day of celebration in our Convent. Much prayer and discussion goes into the place setting at the table, the beautiful word that is specially picked just for her and then a few carefully and lovingly wrapped gifts (which are usually a few treat foods that she rarely gets). The Sister gets to choose her dinner entree and dessert from a menu. It’s really such fun – some sisters take up to a week deciding what they’re going to ask for on their special day. This past week, I had the great fun of cooking for one such occasion. I made my signature shrimp dish – a little like a scampi, but made richer by the fettucine tossed with cream and parmesan. The fresh lemon in this recipe is a must – don’t skip it. The Sister slowly savored her meal, a smile emanating after every bite. What a blessing it is to bless others – that’s what I love so much about the gift of cooking.

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Stella's Shrimp and Fettuccine
SERVINGS
2servings
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
servings
COOK TIME
20mins
PREP TIME
10mins
READY IN
30mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Boil salted water for pasta
  2. Meanwhile, sauté ¼ c. diced onion and crushed garlic clove until translucent over medium low heat. Watch carefully so you don't burn the garlic. Add chopped basil leaves and chopped tomato – lightly toss, sauté and remove from heat and into a dish to hold.
  3. Cook your pasta and when finished, toss with 4 Tbsp. butter, warmed heavy cream and 1/2 cup fresh parmesan until you have an “Alfredo” – add onion salt and fresh ground pepper - seasoning to taste.
  4. Quickly sauté your shrimp in butter, once golden on both sides, add white wine and juice of one lemon. Simmer slightly and then add the tomato mixture back to the pan and combine - season to taste.
  5. Serve fettuccine with the shrimp tossed over – sprinkle with the lemon rind, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

Garden-Fresh Basil Buttermilk Dressing

Summer may officially be over, but some of our garden vegetables happily are refusing to acknowledge it as they continue to provide us with a daily abundance of fresh produce. Among our favorites are beautiful multi-colored tomatoes, not only gorgeous to behold but luscious to enjoy.

Likewise our herb gardens continue to thrive producing sturdy plants of vibrant green flavorful offerings to enhance our food. Basil a favorite of so many has become the ingredient of choice along with a few other seasonings to combine with fresh buttermilk as a special dressing for lovely sliced tomatoes.

A winner with many of our sisters and special guests, why not give it a try?

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Garden-Fresh Basil Buttermilk Dressing
SERVINGS
1cup (4-6 servings)
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
cup (4-6 servings)
COOK TIME
10mins
PREP TIME
5mins
READY IN
15mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Whisk buttermilk and mayonnaise in a bowl
  2. Transfer to a blender and add garlic, onion salt, and scallions. Blend until the scallions resemble finely minced pieces
  3. Add chopped basil and blend a few seconds more to combine
  4. Transfer back to the bowl and refrigerate (covered) overnight to allow flavors to develop
  5. Serve drizzled over freshly sliced tomatoes and enjoy!

Marinated Grilled Vegetable Platter with Whipped Goat Cheese

Time to get out the grill and put those fresh garden veggies to good use. This is a terrific recipe that makes a lovely party platter in a matter of minutes.

Eggplant, peppers, zucchini, asparagus, and red onions – marinated and grilled till soft on the inside and charred on the outside, then doused in garlicky marinade, and served with whipped goat cheese on the side.

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Marinated Grilled Vegetable Platter with Whipped Goat Cheese
SERVINGS
8-10servings
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
servings
COOK TIME
20mins
PREP TIME
20mins
READY IN
40mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Cut eggplants, onions, and zucchini in 1/4-inch thick slices.
  2. Salt the eggplant slices, and leave in a colander for 20 minutes so the bitter juices drain out. Rinse and pet dry.
  3. Wash the peppers, and leave whole.
  4. Wash the asparagus, and cut the woody ends.
  5. Mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, garlic and chopped oregano, with onion salt and black pepper, and brush all vegetables liberally with the marinade.
  6. Grill veggies on medium heat, turning them over once or twice.
  7. Remove the charred outer skin from the peppers by rubbing off- slice the pepper in half, remove seeds and then continue slicing the peppers lengthwise into 1” slices. Set aside until ready to assemble.
  8. Remove the remaining vegetables to a plate and drizzle with the remaining marinade and more fresh oregano. Add more garlic if needed - they should have a distinct garlicky, tangy taste.
  9. With an electric mixer beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add the goat cheese, and smashed garlic, and a pinch of salt, then beat until fluffy.
  10. Arrange the vegetables decoratively on a platter and serve with the whipped goat cheese on the side.

Place left over veggies in a container and pour over a marinade of equal parts apple cider vinegar and olive oil, plus lots of pressed garlic and salt. They will taste great the next day, and will keep in the fridge for a long time.

Recipe adapted from www.victoriastable.com