Category Archives: Sandwiches/Wraps

Roasted Beet & Chickpea Veggie Burgers

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Last year I made veggie burgers for the first time, and while I enjoyed the flavors of the chickpeas, lentils, and curry, I found that they were a bit dry and just didn’t have the burger consistency I was looking for.

Fast forward to this year, when I stumble upon a recipe that claims to be the “best-ever” veggie burgers and I’m instantly intrigued as soon as I hear the ingredients list: Roasted beets, beans, brown rice, caramelized onions (!!), and oats. I’ve come to love beets over the past year or so, and caramelized onions are one of my favorite foods of all time. So I decided to put these veggie burgers to the test and I was not disappointed!

To be honest, I’ve only tried a few other veggie burgers to compare these to, but I still think this recipe is a winner. The roasted beets keep the burgers moist and sweet, the onions bring a nice savory flavor, and then there’s mustard and even diced prunes (don’t let them scare you!) for tanginess. The burgers use ground oats rather than bread crumbs, and just one egg to keep them together. I used a combination of chickpeas and cannellini beans rather than black beans because I prefer the flavor, but any type of bean will work. The original recipe also says it makes only 6 burgers, but I was able to make about 9 or 10 good-sized burgers.

These burgers do take a bit of prep work, and the “meat” needs to be chilled, but I think if you cook the beets and brown rice ahead of time, you’ll be able to whip these burgers up in no time. I really enjoyed these veggie burgers and I’m excited to share them with all my veggie and meat-eating friends alike out there!

Roasted Beet & Chickpea Veggie Burgers
slightly adapted from Best-Ever Veggie Burger on The Kitchn

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Ingredients:
makes 9 – 10 burgers

  • 1 lb. fresh beets (about 3 large ones)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 15 oz. cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or cannellini beans)
  • 1/4 cup prunes, chopped
  • 2 – 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Spices:
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1/2 tsp chili powder, or cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper for extra heat
    • 1/2 tsp dried basil
    • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 large egg, whisked
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Your ingredients (ignore that pesky jalapeno…)

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And your spices

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Prepare your beets by washing them and removing skin with a vegetable peeler. Chop them into large chunks and toss them with about 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Place in a small baking dish and roast for 25 – 30 minutes, stirring about every 10 minutes, until they are nice and caramelized and can be easily pierced with a fork. Set aside to let cool.
  2. While your beets are roasting, cook your brown rice according to box directions and also begin caramelizing your onions. Heat diced onions over medium heat with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt, stirring every few minutes, until they are golden-brown. Add minced garlic in the last 2 – 3 minutes and remove from heat.
  3. Pulse your oats in a food processor until they resemble a fine powder and set aside.
  4. Combine beans, prunes, scallions, olive oil, mustard, and lemon juice in food processor and pulse until roughly chopped, but not to the point of being puréed. (If you have a small food processor, you may have to do this in batches.) Remove from food processor and place in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Once your beets are cooled, grind them up in your food processor until shredded. Place in mixing bowl with beans, and then add in your caramelized onions, rice, spices, ground oats, and egg. Stir until well combined, and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  6. After the burgers are chilled, form into patties about 3 inches wide. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan, and cook the burgers for 3 – 5 minutes on each side. I found that covering them for half of the cook time helped to get the inside of the burgers cooked faster and more thoroughly.*
  7. Once burgers are finished cooking, serve on a bun with your favorite toppings, or atop a salad and enjoy! I loved them topped off with Trader Joe’s Goddess Dressing, spinach, and arugula.

*For an extra crispy crust, sprinkle Panko breadcrumbs on the burgers before cooking!

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Begin by peeling, chopping, and roasting your beets. Don’t the peeled beets have a cool design on them?

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While the beets are roasting, cook your rice to box directions and caramelize your onions. When they’re done they’ll look something like this.

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Combine your rinsed and drained beans, prunes, scallions, mustard, olive oil, and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped.

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Pulse your beets separately until finely shredded.

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Combine your shredded beets with the bean mixture and rice, along with your spices. Stir in oat flour and eggs until well combined.

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Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Notice how it resembles ground beef?)

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Once mixture is chilled, form into patties and frizzle up in your frying pan with olive oil and optional breadcrumbs.

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Enjoy burgers with your favorite toppings! Here I have mine on a Sandwich Thin with Goddess dressing, red onion, and spinach. Bon appétit!

Spicy Tuna Wrap

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This recipe was inspired, as you may have guessed, by the spicy tuna sushi roll. I’ve been preparing tuna salad this way for about a year now, but it only occurred to me recently that with a few extra ingredients it could taste a lot like my favorite type of sushi.

Spicy Tuna Rolls typically include tuna in a spicy sauce, something crunchy like cucumber, and often avocado. My Spicy Tuna Wrap uses teriyaki sauce and Sriracha to give the tuna a spicy Asian twist, and includes vegetables like carrots, red bell peppers, radishes, avocado, and spinach in place of seaweed. It’s perfect for when you’re craving sushi without any in reach, or for those who are hesitant to try real sushi. The spicy tuna mixture is also delicious on a salad!

To make the preparation of this wrap quicker, I recommend refrigerating your can of tuna beforehand. I do this often so I don’t need to wait for my tuna salad to chill in the fridge when I’m hungry!

Spicy Tuna Wrap
makes 1 wrap

Ingredients:

  • 1 5 oz. can of tuna, drained
  • 1 Tbsp light mayonnaise or Greek yogurt (I recommend mayo for a more authentic flavor)
  • 1.5 tsp teriyaki sauce
  • 1 tsp Sambel Oelek chili paste or Sriracha
  • 1 tsp sweet chili sauce (honey or brown sugar would work as well)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 avocado, sliced into strips
  • 1/3 cup assorted crunchy veggies, sliced into matchsticks (I recommend carrots, red bell pepper, and cucumber or radishes)
  • small handful of fresh spinach
  • 1 8-inch flour tortilla
  • optional: sesame seeds and red pepper flakes to garnish
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Ingredients for the spicy tuna

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ingredients for the wrap

Directions:

To prepare the spicy tuna mixture, mix together your drained tuna, mayo, teriyaki sauce, chili paste, chili sauce and green onions. Stir to combine and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour if not previously chilled.

Begin to build your wrap by spreading tuna along the middle of your tortilla in a straight line, and layer your avocado, veggies, and spinach on top. Roll up tightly and enjoy!

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Combine the ingredients for the spicy tuna in a small bowl

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And mix together until combined. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 – 60 minutes if not previously chilled.

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Build your wrap by placing the spicy tuna in the middle of the tortilla, and layering avocado, veggies, and spinach on top. Garnish with sesame seeds and/or red pepper flakes if desired and roll up tightly.

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🙂

Chili Lime Chicken Burgers

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If you’re looking for a healthier burger still packed with flavor for your cookouts this summer, look no further. These chicken burgers are seriously delicious while staying light on calories.

This recipe comes from Iowa Girl Eats, and is inspired by Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chicken Burgers, which is found in the frozen prepared foods section of TJ stores. I used to eat those burgers all the time in college because they were perfect for a quick meal between classes or before an exam. Making these burgers at home is economical and you can even freeze them to eat at a later time. They’re also super simple and will probably take you no more than 20 minutes from start to finish.

I stayed pretty true to the ingredients in Kristin’s recipe, but tweaked it just a little to suit my taste. These Chili Lime Chicken Burgers are juicy, slightly spicy, and have a hint of lime – perfect for the summer time. They taste amazing with guacamole or salsa – especially pineapple or mango salsa! – and are a great alternative to beef or turkey burgers. They’re probably my favorite burgers to date!

Chili Lime Chicken Burgers
slightly adapted from Copy Cat Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chicken Burgers on Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients:
makes 4 burgers

  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • juice from half of one lime (about 1 – 1.5 Tbsp)
  • 1 Tbsp Sambal Oelek chili paste or 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • optional: 2-3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • to serve: buns/rolls, cheese, sliced avocado, salsa

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Directions:

In a medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients up to cilantro. Mix together just until combined and form into 4 patties. Fire up your grill or frying pan, and once it’s hot, place your burgers on the heat (don’t forget to lightly grease the grill/pan!). Cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side, or until burgers are lightly browned and cooked throughout. Serve on a bun with optional toppings and enjoy!

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Mix all of the ingredients together and form the burgers into 4 patties.

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Grill up those burgers.

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Cook until browned and no pink remains.

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Serve with cheese, if desired (I used cheddar)…

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… and some sliced avocado and salsa. I used Newman’s Own Pineapple Salsa

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🙂

Honey Mustard Chicken Wrap

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After a crazy few days last week, I’m ready to get back on track with my posts.

This recipe was inspired by my sister-in-law, Mirva. Mirva, my brother Chris, and my niece Naomi live only a few miles away from me so I’m often over their house spending time with them or watching the little one. Mirva often likes to experiment with cooking and she is nice enough to share her creations with me, which I always enjoy. Recently when I was over, she made chicken baked in honey mustard sauce. It was so tasty and reminded me of how much I enjoy honey mustard.

In typical Hannah fashion, I thought of how I could re-create this recipe in a slightly healthier way. That thick, creamy honey mustard sauce you’re used to being served in restaurants is typically made with lots of mayonnaise. I do eat mayo every once in a while, but I thought a good substitute for this recipe would be – you guessed it – Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is fat-free or low-fat and loaded with protein, compared to mayonnaise, which is fatty and has less nutritional value. Making this simple swap gives you honey mustard sauce that is still thick and creamy, but a bit tangier and much healthier.

This Honey Mustard Chicken Wrap includes tender chicken, fresh tomatoes, spinach, a sprinkle of cheese, and is finished off with a light and super easy-to-make 3-ingredient honey mustard sauce. It’s a filling and flavorful wrap that you can feel good about eating, and the sauce could be used for a number of other recipes.

Honey Mustard Chicken Wrap
makes one wrap

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard
  • 3/4 tsp honey
  • 1 whole wheat wrap
  • 1 small breast grilled or baked chicken
  • 2 slices of tomato
  • small handful of fresh spinach (or lettuce)
  • 1-2 Tbsp shredded cheese

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Directions:

 To prepare the honey mustard sauce, whisk together the Greek yogurt, yellow mustard, and honey in a small bowl until smooth. Set aside. Lay out your wrap on a flat surface and layer with chicken, tomato, spinach, and cheese. Pour honey mustard sauce on top and roll up your wrap tightly. Enjoy with a salad or some sweet potato fries 🙂

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Prepare the honey mustard sauce by combing mustard, honey, and Greek yogurt.

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Lay out your wrap and place chicken on first

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Pile up with your toppings: honey mustard sauce, cheese (optional), tomato, and spinach or lettuce

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Roll up your wrap and enjoy 🙂

Pork Carnitas

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Lately I’ve had a huge craving for Mexican food. My mouth is still sensitive from having my wisdom teeth removed, but finally feeling good enough to eat soft foods. Carnitas is a Spanish word meaning “little meats”. Typically pork or beef is used, and is braised or slow-cooked until it is fall-apart tender and moist. I’ve been on a pork kick lately, so I decided to use pork.

The meat is delicious enough to eat on its own, but I was in the mood for tacos, so I served mine in a soft tortilla loaded up with fresh salsa, veggies, a sprinkle of cheese, and cilantro. This dish was partially inspired by a little Mexican restaurant near my boyfriend Dan’s house. They serve up fresh, authentic Mexican dishes for alarmingly low prices. My favorite is their pork tacos, topped with fire-roasted tomato salsa and pickled red cabbage (which is surprisingly delicious!) They are so good they don’t even need cheese or sour cream – the flavors stand out on their own.

I recently purchased a slow cooker and the first thing I made in it was pulled pork. I actually prepared the pork for these carnitas the same way – dry-rubbed with various spices, drenched in some Worcestershire sauce, and cooked at a low temperature for about 8 hours. Typically the meat for carnitas is first browned in a frying pan before entering the cooking pot, but  since my teeth and gums are still fairly sensitive, I decided to skip that step.

Though this recipe has a lot of ingredients and steps, don’t be afraid! It is really as simple as adding seasoned meat to your slow cooker and letting it cook for hours. The meal basically cooks itself and is surprisingly easy, but oh so tasty. The meat is so tender you can barely pick it up without it falling apart, and is sweet, smoky, and a little bit spicy. The great thing about this cut of meat is that, while it is on the fattier side, it’s incredibly inexpensive – only $2.50 a pound. Using my grocery store savings card, I paid under $8 for the whole 4 pounds!

Pork Carnitas
serves 8-10

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 8 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1 4 lb. pork butt (or pork shoulder – it’s often referred to as the butt, but actually comes from the pig’s shoulder)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • Dry rub:
    • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
    • 1/2 tsp chipotle pepper powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Cooking sauce:
    • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce (optional)
  • For the tacos:
    • flour or corn tortillas
    • fresh lime juice
    • To top: salsa or diced tomato, avocado, shredded cheese, peppers, onion, cilantro, etc.

    Grab your slab of meat. Notice how inexpensive it is?

    For the dry rub (plus brown sugar)

    For the cooking sauce

Directions:

  1. First, prepare your dry rub by measuring out the spices and combining them in a small bowl. Mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, and bbq sauce.
  3. To prepare the meat, remove from package and cut into 4-6 large chunks. If your cut has a bone (mine did), don’t get rid of it! The bone adds tons of flavor. Just cut around it, leaving some meat on it. I like to try to remove as much of the visible fat as possible, but it’s okay to leave some on because you can remove it after it’s cooked.
  4. Gently rub the spices into the meat. Place sliced onion on bottom of slow cooker, and then pile meat on top. Pour cooking liquid on top of meat and around perimeter of slow cooker.
  5. Set your slow cooker on low for 8 hours. I like to set mine on high for 2 hours then turn it down to low for the remaining 6 hours, but if you’re busy or working, you can omit that step.
  6. After 8 hours, your meat should be very tender and cooked throughout. If it’s not, cook for another hour or so. Carefully remove the chunks of meat from the slow cooker and onto a platter. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into small pieces. You may also want to discard any large remaining chunks of fat at this point, and the bone.
  7. If a large amount of juice has accumulated inside the crock, you may want to remove some so that it’s not swimming. I removed about half of the liquid and kept the rest.
  8. Prepare your tacos by serving the meat over warmed tortillas with a healthy squirt of fresh lime juice and pile with your favorite toppings. Serve immediately.

cut your meat into large chunks

Prepare your dry rub

After covering meat in dry rub, place into crock pot along with sliced onion, cooking sauce, and 2 bay leaves

After cooking for 8 hours, your meat will look like this.

Remove the meat from the crock pot and shred with a fork, discarding the bone, bay leaves, and any extra fat.

Pile the meat onto a warmed tortilla with your favorite toppings and enjoy!