Category Archives: Galleries

Just the Right Spice Makes this Veggie Burger So Nice

Chickpea Cauliflower Patties

This week, I was tantalized by a recipe I stumbled upon on The First Mess, a beautiful blog filled with many wholesome and delicious recipes, and wonderful food photography. The thing that really caught my eye, was the word “Old Bay seasoning” in the title of the recipe. Old Bay seasoning has a dear place in my heart, as my boyfriend turned me onto it, and then then I discovered it in my Christmas stocking from him that winter. :) It is great on roasted potatoes, eggs, beans, and anything with a mild taste (It was originally invented as a crab boil; my boyfriend attests it’s excellent on shellfish as well as chicken).

The photos on the blog were so tantalizing, and I am a sucker for a good veggie burger, plus my friend Stephanie was coming over for dinner this week, and I knew she would love for me to try the recipe out on her.

It is a bit involved. But the directions seemed more complex than the experience making them. Put on some good music, have a lovely beverage to sip on and have fun making these Chickpea & Cauliflower Veggie Patties with Vegan Cashew Lemon Spread. I made some personalizations to the original recipe by adding cayenne and turmeric for added flavor and a healthful boost.

Eating is the greatest reward

 

Chickpea & Cauliflower Veggie Patties with Vegan Cashew Lemon Spread
Makes 4 patties

Patty ingredients:

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (I used canned)
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tspn turmeric
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • squeeze of lemon juice
salt + pepper to taste, keeping in mind Old Bay is pretty salty
  • 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons chickpea flour
  • 1/2 of a shallot, chopped (original recipe called for 1/3 cup chopped chives)

Cashew Lemon Spread ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • splash of vinegar (original recipe called for white wine vinegar, I used rice vinegar)
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard (I used hot horseradish mustard)
  • 2 tbsp-1/3 cup filtered water
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste

Sandwich ingredients:
Feel free to customize to your taste. I made mine with whole wheat pita bread, sliced cherry tomatoes, avocado and fresh arugula.

* The original recipe called for 1/4 cup chickpea flour and 3 tablespoons oat flour, with the option to use all chickpea flour – which is what I did. But if you’d like to use 3 tablespoons oat flour, you can easily grind oats in a food processor, vitamix or spice grinder to make it. Also, if you don’t have Old Bay seasonings (I’ve seen it sold at Target and Cost Plus World Market fyi), here is the link to make it yourself!

Preparation:

  1. Steam cauliflower florets in a steamer basket over a pot of shallow water for 7-8 minutes.
  2. Remove and run some cold water over it to stop the cooking process.
  3. Dry the florets lightly and place them in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “S” blade.
  4. Add the chickpeas, garlic, Old Bay seasoning, turmeric, cayenne pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, salt + pepper.
  5. Pulse until you have a meal that clumps together when you squeeze it, trying not to blend up all of the chickpeas.
  6. Put the chickpea and cauliflower mixture into a large bowl, add the chickpea flour and chopped shallots until the ingredients are well mix and the flour is absorbed. Adjust the seasonings accordingly, if needed.
  7. Divide the mix into 4 equal portions and form patties with your hands. (This was my favorite part of not using eggs to form patties – no mess!) Wrap the patties tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
  8. In the meantime, make the cashew lemon spread. In a blender, place the cashews (that have been drained and rinsed), lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, salt, and 2 tablespoons of water.
  9. Blend scraping the sides and adding more water if necessary.
  10. The mixture should be a creamy mayo-like consistency. Place the spread into a container, cover, and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
  11. Heat the pan over medium high heat, then lower the heat and add some oil in a pan (I used my cast iron pan, but you can certainly use any non-stick pan).
  12. Place a couple of patties in the pan at a time. Flip to the other side once they are lightly browned (this should take a few minutes on each side. Use your spatula to lift and move the patties as they’re browning, to make sure all the underside gets browned. You may keep the patties warm on a parchment lined baking sheet in the oven on a low temperature. I only made two, and kept my unmade patties wrapped in plastic, until they were ready for eating. You can certainly cook them all up at once and reheat as well.
  13. While the patties were cooking, I quickly warmed up pita bread over a medium flame on the stove. This only takes a few seconds – you just have to keep an eye on the pita so as not to burn it.

The first time I made the patties, I cut one patty in half and one pita in half. The second time I made it, I cut the top third of the pita and put an entire patty in. These are options depending on your appetite! It is a lovely, satiating, satisfying meal. Enjoy!

 

Cooking with Boys

I have a very special and rewarding job. I teach cooking to two adorable (future heartbreakers) 13 year old boys. Their enthusiasm for food and trying new ingredients gives me faith in humanity. Ok, maybe not that dramatic, but I love seeing them waft their hands over a pot of soup, inhaling the scents, and sighing excitedly over the aromas. I love how badly one of my boys wants to put cumin into everything. They love cracking eggs, and rolling dough and trying new flavors. On one of our lessons, we cooked lentils, they kept snacking on little fingerfuls of the freshly cooked lentils that were cooling in a colander, excited to discover a new food they hadn’t had yet.

I try to come up with nutritious recipes and dishes that boys their age would eat. While they are certainly more ambitious with their palette than one assumes of the average child and teen, they are still kids, and love pasta and pizza and burgers. My goal has simply been to pack these same dishes with tons of vegetables, and to make the pasta and bread products with whole grain alternatives. Below are some of the dishes that they have prepared in our lessons.

Cooking with Boys

[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/cooking-with-boys/thumbs/thumbs_chickpea-ragout.jpg]00Chickpea Vegetable Ragout with Quinoa Pasta
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/cooking-with-boys/thumbs/thumbs_broccoli-cheddar-hot-pockets.jpg]00Broccoli Cheddar Hot Pockets
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/cooking-with-boys/thumbs/thumbs_bistro-salad-happy-face.jpg]00Bistro Salad Happy Face
"Bistro" salad with pears, walnuts, egg and garlic toast. We were working on plating that day. :)
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/cooking-with-boys/thumbs/thumbs_chopped-kale-salad-with-pumpkin-seeds-apples-dried-cranberries-and-homemade-ranch-dressing.jpg]00Chopped Kale Salad with Pumpkin Seeds, Apples, Dried Cranberries and a Homemade Healthier Ranch Dressing.
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/cooking-with-boys/thumbs/thumbs_cilantro-lime-white-bean-hummus_seasoned-pita-chips.jpg]00Cilantro, White Bean and Lime Hummus, with Homemade Seasoned Pita Chips that we made from fresh pita bread.
Look at that presentation!
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/cooking-with-boys/thumbs/thumbs_grilled-cheese-tomato-spinach-sandwiches.jpg]10Spinach + Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
(Accompanying creamy tomato soup, of course!)
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/cooking-with-boys/thumbs/thumbs_tomato-soup.jpg]00Creamy Tomato Soup
(Accompanying grilled cheese, tomato and spinach sandwiches, of course!)
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/cooking-with-boys/thumbs/thumbs_macncheese_broccoli.jpg]00Homemade Broccoli Mac n Cheese
(Our first lesson!)
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/cooking-with-boys/thumbs/thumbs_mexican-baked-eggs.jpg]00Mexican Baked Eggs with Black Beans, Tomato and Cheese.
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/cooking-with-boys/thumbs/thumbs_pesto-peas-pine-nuts-and-spinach-quinoa-pasta.jpg]00Spring Pesto Pasta with Peas, Pine Nuts and Spinach, made with quinoa pasta.
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/cooking-with-boys/thumbs/thumbs_pizza-making.jpg]00Pizza Making in Action
Putting the finishing touches on their homemade Very Green and Very Cheese Pizza on Whole Wheat Pizza Dough.
[img src=http://healthydelectable.com/wp-content/flagallery/cooking-with-boys/thumbs/thumbs_very-green-cheesy-pizza.jpg]00Very Green and Cheesy Homemade Pizza on Wholewheat Pizza dough.
Voila! The finished product!

 

With Every Season…

The Groom & Groom!

Last month I took a trip to the East Coast for a wedding. My dear friends Chris and Keith, who have been together for 15 years, decided to seal the deal as soon as gay marriage became legal in the state of New York. I arrived at the edge of Fall, the leaves had just started to change, and the weather quickly transitioned from the hot, muggy and balmy that greeted me upon my arrival at JFK, to cool and drizzly. The wedding was in the Catskills, near Phoenicia, one of several towns in that area that was sadly devastated by Hurricane Irene. Despite the still visible signs of damage, with broken roads, and trees, some signs of flooding, the locals were friendly and happy to be in business, have their power back and moving on.

Along with the wedding, which I was SO excited to go to, with my foodie partner in crime, April, who as most of you know is the Director/Producer of The Healthy Delectable Web Series, I couldn’t wait to explore the food. When I lived in the East Coast, one of my favorite things to do was go to the Farmers Markets, for the many varieties of local apples, and when the weather got especially cold, there was nothing better than a cup of hot cider to warm my hands and my tummy. On our first day, we learned about a Farm Stand called Hanover Farms, in Phoenicia, that is open 24 hours a day! They sell local honey, maple syrup, dairy products and local fruit and vegetables. And let me tell you, their Honey Crisp Apples were outstanding! The perfect amount of sweet, tart and crisp; Fall was in my mouth!

 

Hanover Farm Stand, Phoenicia, NY

Honey Crisp Apples

We stayed in an adorable little cabin in Chichester, NY that had the most curious and friendly goats on the property. These goats (with the help of the proprietor, Cindy) produced the creamiest and loveliest goat cheese. That was as local as I’ve ever eaten! There were so many gems of experiences to cherish – the greatest of course being the sweetest, funnest and most touching wedding I’ve ever been to.

Charming Catskills Cabin

Friendly Goat #1

Friendly Goat #2

Friendly Goat #3

 

 

 

 


 

Click on the pics to enlarge.

——————————————————————————————————
I returned home to warm and sunny Los Angeles, where most fruit and vegetables are available year round. And even in Los Angeles, while not as dramatic, there is a palpable shift in the seasons. My trip reminded me of the importance of eating seasonally. Not only are you eating locally, supporting local farms, and limiting your carbon footprint, but it’s also so fun to change your diet according to the seasons, to try out new recipes, flavors and ingredients!

Fall foods are some of my favorites; early to late in the season, there are so many wonderful and nourishing foods to taste!

Among some of my favorite Fall foods in season in Southern CA are: Apples, Artichokes , Asian Pears, Basil, Beets, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Chard, Chili Pepper, Eggplant, Grapefruit, Grapes, Green Beans, Kale, Lemons, Mushrooms, Oranges, Pears, Persimmons, Potatoes, Raspberries, Spinach, Tomatillos, Tomatoes, and Winter Squash, (and many more!) :)

What a wonderful season for soups and stews, hearty greens and delicious fruity desserts! Here is one Fall recipe I will share with you. More to come. Happy Harvest, enjoy the big yellow moon!

Braised Red Cabbage

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples
*Feel free to play with this recipe to suit your taste. Try it with green cabbage, sub apples with pears, add nuts, top it with a poached egg…so many possibilities!!

Ingredients:
1 Red Cabbage (about 2 lbs)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (or butter)
1 Shallot (or onion)
1-2 Apples (Granny Smith are a good choice because they’re tart)
1/2 Cup Chicken or Veggie Broth
1 Bay Leaf
1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar (or try Red Wine Vinegar or Port!)
Dash of Salt and Pepper
*Optional 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar (I don’t find this is needed, but some like their braised cabbage sweet)

Directions:
Discard the outer leaves of the cabbage if they’ve browned. Slice the cabbage in four, cut out the core, then cut the quarters into thirds. Rinse in cold water and set aside. Saute shallots and apples with olive oil or butter over medium heat, until they start to soften, about 2 minutes. Add cabbage, Bay Leaf and broth and cook until it the cabbage wilts, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar, salt, pepper and optional sugar, and simmer for about 20 minutes until the cabbage is soft, stirring occasionally. Make sure to take out the Bay Leaf when serving.


——————————————————————————————————
Some awesome links, related to this post.

* Check out Chris and Keith’s fabulous online store, Fred Flare.
Here are some of the causes they believe in and requested donations for in place of a wedding gift:
* The Mark Project, an organization dedicated to relieving the devastation from Hurricane Irene.
* It Gets Better Project is a place where young people who are lesbian, gay, bi, or trans can see how love and happiness can be a reality in their future.  It’s a place where our straight allies can visit and support their friends and family members.  It’s a place where people can share their stories, take the It Gets Better Project pledge, watch videos of love and support, and seek help through the Trevor Project and GLSEN.
* Mount Tremper Arts, is the wedding venue, and is a very special non-profit arts center for contemporary visual and performing artists in the Catskills.

Spring Inspiration

Happy Spring!

Winter kept most of us wet and some of us very cold. Now as the sun makes its way back into our lives, and the weather warms, most of us are feeling inspired and motivated, and are taking on some spring cleaning, tax paying and exercising outdoors.

Below I posted a gallery of some of the dishes I’ve made in the past that are healthy, nutritious and easy to make. They are here to inspire you to get in your kitchen and make something clean and delicious that nourishes your body and gets you ready for Summer (click on the “i” to read the description).

Enjoy!