Archive for the ‘Meal Time: Entree’ Category

Lentil Soft Tacos


I actually made my own tortillas for this.  It’s fun, but it really, really takes a long time.  (I’ll share a recipe for that later.)  Assuming you buy premade tortillas, this is an easy recipe.

Lentils (or black or pinto beans if you prefer them)
Crushed black olives
Sliced hot peppers (habanero in the picture)

Mexican food is great because you can really mix things around!  For example, you can use all different kinds of lettuce (romaine, butter, iceberg and even venture out into escarole, cabbage, frisee, and radichio).  You can also vary the types of beans you use (and also the types of faux meats you use).

For this, if you’re using dried lentils, wash.  I usually don’t make less than 1 cup (dry).  If you try to make less than that, it doesn’t seem to cook evenly.  Cook per the instructions on the packaging, but this is an opportunity to use some homemade broth, if you have some!  It adds an extra element of flavor.

Place the lentils and liquid into a pot and then turn on the heat.  You want to start with cold or room temperature liquid.  When it comes to a hard boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, vent the pot, and cook for about 30 minutes.  Make sure to check it so that it doesn’t cook off all of the water and burn the lentils.  If it’s looking like it’s getting low, just add a small amount of water (or broth) to cover and check it again in a few minutes.  (Nice thing about lentils is that you can really set them to go without paying too much attention to them if you have enough liquid.)

Once they’re cooked, just drain, and they’re all ready to go.  Note, this will make *way* more lentils than you need for the tacos, but lentils keep and re-heat well.

Dice up your tomatoes and tear up your lettuce.  Slice your peppers (careful not to touch your eyes… heck, ever again).  Open your can of crushed or sliced olives (I’m not usually a proponent of canned stuff, but it’s always nice to have canned olives on hand).

Heat the tortillas individually and carefully on the stove top, flipping to heat evenly.

Top the warm tortillas with the other ingredients and enjoy!  (You can also add shredded cheese, salsa/hot sauce, cilantro, onion, or any number of other delicious things.  I was just trying to describe what’s in this specific picture.)

Done! : )


Farmers Market Veggie Burger

I usually do a traditional burger when I make up my veggie patties, so I liked seeing this different version by Shanti Ellis for a nice change of pace.

Farmers Market Veggie Burger

This is just a standard veggie burger patty, but if you want to spruce it up with fresh, colorful niblets from a local farmers market (or just the produce aisle at the grocery store), here’s a suggestion.

1 veggie burger of choice (I believe the one pictured is a Morningstar vegan patty)
2 slices of whole wheat bread (or a bun), toasted
1 slice of cheese
1 slice red onion
2 slices zucchini or yellow summer squash
1 handful sprouts (I used pea sprouts here, which are excellent)
olive oil (optional)

Slice the red onion and then cut in half to make two half-circle discs.  Slice zucchini lengthwise about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.

You can either just use the zucchini raw, or if you prefer, you can saute it for a few minutes in the same pan you are using to heat up the veggie burger and sauteing the onion.

Toast bread.

On one slice of the toasted bread, we have a shmear of Vegenaise, sprouts, and tomato (I thought it would be fun to just use halved heirloom cherry tomatoes, but sliced tomato of any variety is obviously fine).

On the other side, layer the cheese, then onion, then zucchini, then patty.

Done!  : )

Gardein Breast Salad

This is a yummy salad by Shanti Ellis.  We don’t have Gardein brand out here, but Quorn makes a really good fake chicken breast that I often have on salad that would go very well.

Gardein Breast Salad

This is another really hearty salad.  Hopefully they carry Gardein products in your local store, because they’re awesome!  If not, an veggie burger patty could substitute or even a portobello mushroom.

1 Gardein breast (or similar veggie patty)
lettuce (in this picture it’s romaine and frisee… ’cause it’s fun to switch up your greens)
1/2 avocado
red onion (sliced into 1-inch segments)
bell pepper (sliced into 1-inch segments)
turnip slices (optional)
olive oil
barbeque sauce or a relatively thick hot sauce

Saute the onion and bell pepper in a pan with the olive oil.  In the same pan cook the “meat” since it will likely either be from the fridge or frozen, depending on which you end up using.

While this is cooking, tear up the lettuce of choice (you couldn’t also theoretically do raw kale or Swiss chard or pretty much any other leafy green).

This is a great time to use the mandolin.  Making the turnip discs is super fast and easy, and it makes a neat decoration.  No need to cook them.  They’re a lovely, crunchy, slightly spicy niblet.  (You can also cut into cubes if you prefer to incorporate them into the salad more.)

When the patty or breast is cooked and the onions are a bit translucent, transfer to the top of your salad.  Put as much sauce as you prefer.

Done!  : )

Dice the avocado and place on the greens.

Vegetables and Rice Dish

Let’s see if I can remember what went into this =p made it fir lunch today… sometimes the best things come from tossing everything that sounds good at the time into a pan

Veggies and Rice… thing =p

Basmati rice medley (I get this at Trader Joes, but any rice and vegetable soup mix could substitute)
olive oil
mozzarella cheese
artichoke hearts (canned or frozen)
mustard greens (I buy chopped frozen)
white corn (I buy it cut and frozen)
Morningstar grillers
garlic powder
celery salt

I prepared a half cup (before cooking) of the rice, while it cooked I mixed the rest of the ingredients in a pan and fried them up with a little olive oil…

The veggies and grillers were about 3/4 of a cup each.

I don’t know the measurements of the spices, but I was quite generous, probably in the two teaspoon range for the garlic powder and salt, 1 tsp of pepper and closer to a tablespoon or two of basil.


Once the rice is done, mix it into the veggies and heat it all together.  After that I turned off the heat, topped it with cheese, mixed it in quickly and dished it out =)


Who says being a vegetarian means having to give up the staples from childhood? A little playing around with ingredients made for a good vegetarian meatloaf =)

This one has tons of wiggle room, and I encourage experimenting!


Okay, so I made this tonight, and realized how small the portion is for this recipe, and how much I didn’t want to go to the store for onion soup mix, so here’s  tonight’s version which is a great side for four or entree for two:

3 eggs
1 packet of grillers
About 2 cups of oats (I used quick oats since it’s what I had on hand)
Ketchup (probably a little more than 1/2 cup)
1 tsp celery salt
Barbeque sauce, around 2 Tbsp
dried onion flakes, around 2-3 Tbsp
Around 1/3 cup Bisto (a vegetarian gravy mix from England, available in English and Indian goods stores, just make sure you get the basic one, the new special one isn’t vegetarian) or any vegetarian gravy mix or bouillon

Basically mix it all together till you get almost a cookie dough consistency, add more oats if it’s too sloppy or more ketchup if it’s too dry.


Spray a loaf pan with pam or any other grease, and spoon the mix in, I use the back of a spoon to pack it in then smooth out the loaf since it will be flipped.


Bake at 350 for around 50-60 minutes, until firm, heated through and a bit dry on top
(my Grillers were still frozen, if you thaw them first the baking time will likely be less)


I like to serve it like my mom always made real meatloaf, flipped onto a dish, with ketchup on top to make it pretty =)

The original recipe:

1 or 2eggs
Around 1-2 cups Morningstar Grillers or any fake ground beef
About 1 cup of oats
Onion soup mix

Mix, put in loaf pan, bake at 350 degrees, until firm and heated through

Green picante enchiladas

My mom sent me this, and I wish I was close enough to go grab some!

Green Picante Cheese Enchiladas

6 eight inch flour tortillas
29 ounce can of Picante hot green enchilada sauce
1 1/2 pounds of grated cheese
1 can of black olives
2 green onions, chopped


Pour a little enchilada sauce into baking dish to coat bottom of dish.

Put one pound of grated cheese into bowl and pour in enough sauce to make it wet, but not runny.

Coat a flour tortilla in sauce and then add about 3 – 4 tablespoons of the cheese mixture into center of tortilla and then roll up.

Repeat with all the tortillas.

Lay them side by side in an ovenproof dish.

Pour the remaining 1/2 pound of grated cheese over enchiladas.

Top with a can of drained and sliced black olives, and a couple of chopped green onions.


Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Enjoy!

Asparagus with Portobello Mushroom

I love asparagus and portabello, Shanti Ellis made my day

Asparagus with Portobello Mushroom

Very, very simple dish.

2 portobello mushrooms
10 or so asparagus spears
olive oil
black pepper

Slice the mushroom and then cut into 1-inch chunks.
Break off the woody bottom to the asparagus (and put in your stock bag in the freezer).  Snap asparagus into 1-inch segments.

Add the mushroom to the pan first and saute for about 2 to 3 minutes.  Then add the asparagus and cook until they are bright green.

Top with pepper to taste.  Done!