Monthly Archives:

July 2011

Green Bean Fries with Spicy Basil Ranch Dip

I’ve always loved green beans, so it doesn’t take much convincing to get me to eat them.  A simple steam is my favorite, but every once in awhile it’s nice to switch it up a bit.  Plus, when you’re having bean burgers for dinner, fries seems like the obvious side.

For all those veggie-haters out there, this one’s for you.  Whether you love yourself some veggies or can’t seem to swallow the taste, this recipe is sure to make a healthy serving go down easy.  While these fries aren’t necessarily swapping starchy potatoes for kale or any “superfood” like that, they are at least constructed from something green.  GREEN beans that is.  Despite not having quite the star status of other green veggies, green beans are still packed with folate (an essential B-vitamin), vitamins C and K, and iron.  And they taste mighty fine in this recipe too.

Panko crumbs crisp these babies up without sending them to the deep fryer, meaning a major trim in fat and calories for you.  Unless you’re vegan, don’t skip out on the dip.  The basil-y combination stars in this recipe, providing an exciting dish of flavor for you to dip your green fries in.  Ranch and hot sauce are obvious dip buddies, but the basil adds a whole other level of magic that has me wanting to use this dip as a dressing for everything in site.

Continue Reading…

Blueberry Banana Overnight Oats

Growing up, my mom was always try to create new ways to fix our oatmeal for breakfast.  Simple salt and pepper, peanut butter and banana, soy milk and maple syrup, ground nuts, and the other countless combinations she’d try out on my brother and I were all her endeavors to keep us eating a healthy breakfast.  Never a fan of starting off our day with sugar, Fruit Loops (my favorite junk cereal as a kid) was almost always out of the question.  On the rare occasion, my mom would let my brother and I wander the cereal aisle and actually pick out what we wanted. She’d treat us with mini cereal boxes for camping trips or some other special outing. On an everyday basis, however, it was some kind of oatmeal concoction going into the breakfast bowl.  Luckily, she was a particularly talented oatmeal lady. Switching it up frequently, I was often fooled into thinking I was eating something new on a regular basis.

One of my favorite ingredient combos. that she came up with was blueberry oatmeal.  She’d start the oatmeal and then a few minutes before it was finished, throw in a large handful of blueberries. She’d continue to cook just until the blues began to burst.  The oatmeal was always finished off with a spoonful of sesame tahini and a drizzle of quality maple syrup. The result:  A  heavenly bowl of oatmeal that resembled blueberry pancakes. Pancakes, of course, were an item I would’ve eaten nearly every day for breakfast.

As I grow older, I’m filling in for my mom and creating my own ways to eat my morning oats.  While my mom could eat and enjoy a bowl nearly every morning, it takes a little more motivation for me to crave oatmeal on a consistent basis.  However, lately I’ve been eating overnight oats on the reg. and find I still look forward to them each morning they await my spoon.  Below is my latest O-Oats creation, inspired by my mom’s timeless blueberry oatmeal.  I’ve created a cold, summery variation that’s prepared the night before, perfect for those morning’s when you’re in a rush.  Make sure to use a ripe banana, which surprisingly eliminates a need for any extra sugar…that’s certainly Mom approved.

Continue Reading…

Vegetarian Sausage Roll with Avocado and Roasted Beets

If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a fan of vegetarian sausage.  (Rather than insert a joke here, sausage recipe inserted instead).  Seriously though, it’s the one faux meat product that, in general, is consistently tasty.  It must be all the herbs/spices they pump in there, which renders it free of too many needed adjustments.  All you really have to do is finish it off with a few quality toppings, and vegetarian sausage suffices as a rather satisfying and easy meal.  And that’s without nearly the grease content of the meat-filled links.

For this meal, I called on roasted beets and avocado to spruce up the veg. links I had.  Beets are in full throttle at my CSA job, and I figured if I’m going to get my hands all red for the customers, I might as well continue tie-dying them for my own dinner.  The red roots make great sandwich toppers.  They add a soft, yet steaky component to the bread, with a sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with the savory sausage.  And I can never get enough avocado.  It’s a creamy addition that lends itself well to almost everything.  For an extra hit of flavor, whip up some cilantro guacamole to spread on the bread.  Serve with a side of salsa or hot sauce, and enjoy!

Continue Reading…

Roasted Veggie Sandwich

I’ve never been eggplant’s biggest fan.  That’s not to say I haven’t eaten a lot of it because my mom loves the purple schnoz.  But eggplant’s one veggie I could never fully stand behind.  And that’s rare because more and more as I get older, I like my vegetables (with the exception of parsnips…eww). From my experience, eggplant’s either undercooked, which makes me cringe when eating.  Or it’s always being forced to walk the plank and jump ship, left forever drowning in oil.  Neither have made eggplant become a stand out veggie for me.

That is, until I decided to throw it in with some veggies I was roasting.  As I said, my mom loves eggplant, so it always takes a spot in our garden.  Come summer time, we always have an abundance of it.  So when I was thinking up something to prepare for my lunch the next day, I decided on roasted veggies and thought I’d give eggplant another chance.

To my surprise the eggplant turned out to be my favorite part of this roasted veggie combo!  It’s takes on a sweetness from the olive oil, alongside the caramelized onions, without being overly saturated in grease.  I actually found myself picking out all the eggplant…not to say the other veggies weren’t good, but finally I found a way for eggplant to stand out for me.  I’ll definitely be making this again soon!

Click here for recipe…

Vegetarian Brown Rice Sushi Rolls

I’m definitely no sushi master, but it’s rather fun to make and truly not that difficult once you get started.  It had been quite some time since the one and only time I’d ever made sushi, so of course that needed to be changed.

Unlike Chinese food, which I get sick of before I even leave the restaurant, I could consume sushi several times a week and never tire of it.  Plus, I always feel so light and refreshed after eating it.  Like my dad always says, it’s best to leave the dinner table still a little hungry.  That feeling of fullness will hit you soon enough, and if you happen to find yourself with a little extra room in your stomach a few hours later, it’s nothing a good dessert can’t easily cure.  I think that’s why I never get worn out of sushi.  Rarely am I left from a sushi night feeling weighed down, and plus, I always appreciate a good excuse to eat dessert.  🙂

I had a few friends over the other weekend for some sushi and sangria (anyone else think saké’ tastes like pee?), and it made me realize that sushi is the perfect dinner party activity. Our sushi didn’t look perfect, but it tasted amazing, which is what counts in my kitchen. There will definitely be some more sushi-making going down in the near future.  Making the rolls yourself allows you to get creative and have fun with what goes inside. Plus, you can utilize healthy, whole grain rice, which makes sushi that much more of an excellent lunch/dinner item.

I had a bunch of summer produce picked from my CSA job, so we went with several summer veggie sushi creations, like beets and mint, and cucumber and squash.  We paired nearly every combo with avocado because for me, avocado is the key to vegetarian sushi.  It adds the kick of richness needed to make sushi stand out, and that tender creaminess that raw fish would normally lend.  If you want, feel free to experiment with some seafood combinations too, but I can’t say I’m daring enough to trust my local seafood spots.  Besides, the raw beet/mint/avocado combo. looked nearly like a tuna roll, and tasted just as good (and fresh) to me!

So grab a sushi mat and get rolling (and rockin’) and let me know of what your favorite combinations turn out to be!

Click here for photos and recipe…

Please wait...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Want to be notified when our article is published? Enter your email address and name below to be the first to know.