Tag Archives: quick and easy

Quick and Easy Veggie Burgers

I absolutely love homemade veggie burgers!

Store bought ones are nice too – especially if you are in a hurry.  But how would you feel about quick and easy homemade veggies burgers?

I have been looking around for good veggie burger recipes, some good and some not so good.  The good news is these veggie burgers are extremely quick to make, easy  to put together and they hold their shape.  They taste great too!  The chipotle chile powder adds more flavour than it does heat without making the burgers taste overly smoky.  It might be worth trying some cheddar cheese in place of the parmesan.  We paired the burgers with guacamole and fresh tomato, forgoing the mustard and ketchup, and it worked wonderfully with the burger’s seasonings. These burgers are easy enough to have come under my “do not have a lot of time to cook on a weeknight, because we have somewhere to go afterwards” meal category, and tasty enough for me to make them again.

Tonight we took the in-law’s dog Murphy for a walk.  They are out of town and he is being boarded at a kennel.  We figured it would be nice for him to a see a familiar face or two during his sojourn.

So, I got home from work, got the burgers started, ate and headed off to meet Murphy all before 6:30.  That is fast!

I should mention that I adapted this recipe from the fantastic new cookbook that EPC and I picked up a couple of weeks ago,  Lukas Volger’s Veggie Burgers Every Which Way.    The book has received rave reviews and I am excited to try other recipes such as  Beet and Brown Rice Burgers and Smoked Tofu Burgers. There are over 30 different burger recipes, many of which are gluten-free (12), vegan (15) or both (9).


Quick and Easy Veggie Burgers

1 1/2 cups of black beans
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
Freshly ground pepper, 4 or so turns of the pepper mill
3/4 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs

  • Mash the beans with a potato masher, add the eggs, cilantro, cheese, spices and salt and pepper.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°C
  • Add the bread crumbs and stir to mix.  Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes so the breadcrumbs can soak up the moisture.
  • Moisten your hands and shape the burgers into four patties.
  • Lightly spray your oven proof fry pan (I used cast iron) with oil and saute the burgers for 5 minutes or so on each side.  You want them to brown and form a nice crust
  • Transfer the pan into the oven and bake for 10 -15  minutes until heated through.

Click to print


Dosa with Chickpea, Potato and Yam

As I type this the taste of tonight’s dinner is still lingering on my tongue.

A blend of indian spices, fried bread, and zesty coconut chutney are making me feel quite content as I contemplate the end of another weekend. We went to see The Flaming Lips in concert on Friday night (amazing!), picked up some carrots and Macintosh apples at the Farmer’s Market, hung out Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria with friends for dinner on Saturday evening, and ran errands today. The weather was fantastic this weekend and it made it up to 27°C yesterday.   I am glad I made time for a walk Saturday afternoon, because you can be certain this will be our last nice weekend. Although we were not too busy and managed to get lots of sleep, I was feeling low on energy when the time to cook dinner rolled around.

I like to make something a little special for Sunday’s supper, but today I did not want to make the effort. Luckily, I know myself enough to be in tune when laziness strikes and I had an easy dinner planned. Of course, once you taste it, you would have no idea it came together so quickly.

I also cheated a bit. I could make the wonderful Indian pan-fried flat bread from scratch, but why bother when I can pick up an instant dosa packet (they are gluten-free) at the Indian Grocer or Superstore and have the batter ready to go in about 5 minutes. I suppose if you were feeling extra lazy you could serve the filling rolled up in a tortilla, but it wouldn’t be the same. The delicious blend of lentil and rice flour is something that you don’t want to miss!

Dosa with Chickpea, Potato and Yam

1 potato, peeled, diced and boiled until tender (about 1 cup)
1 yam, peeled, diced and boiled until tender (about 1 cup)

1 small to medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cayenne chili powder
1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 19 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped

  • Peel, chop and boil the potato and yam for 15 minutes until tender. Drain and reserve.
  • Saute onion and garlic on medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes
  • Add cumin, coriander, garam masala, and cayenne and stir to coat
  • Add tomatoes and cook,  stirring occasionally for 5 minutes
  • Add chickpeas, potatoes and yam. Mash the potatoes and yams while cooking for about 10 minutes until heated through.
  • Stir in the yogurt, salt and cilantro. Remove from heat and set aside while you make the dosas.
  • Dosas are easy, just follow the instructions on the box. Please use a non-stick pan and cook each dosa in a cooled pan. I run my pan under cool tap water between each dosa.
  • When each dosa is ready spoon a couple spoonfuls of filling down the centre, roll up the sides and secure with a toothpick.
  • I like to serve it with Aki’s Brand Coconut Chutney

Click to print

Nigerian Kidney Bean Stew with Peanut Sauce

If you have been reading my posts for a while you know that EPC has a lot of favourite meals and generally loves the recipes I post here.  In fact, the meal often has to pass the “husband taste test” before it is deemed blog-worthy.

I have been making Nigerian Kidney Bean Stew for a couple of years and it has certainly become top on EPC’s list.  It is high up on my list too, because it is easy to make and is delicious and satisfying served over brown rice

I am feeling far too relaxed today to do much writing today, so I will keep it short and leave you with this wonderful recipe adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian.

Happy cooking and have a good week.

Nigerian Kidney Bean Stew with Peanut Sauce

2 cans of  red kidney beans, rinsed well and drained
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 medium onion,  finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 green pepper, diced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 398 ml can of tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 generous tablespoons peanut butter
1/3-2/3 teaspoon of salt to taste

  • Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and green pepper and saute until the onion is translucent.
  • Add the cumin and stir to coat the onion mixture
  • Add the tomato sauce, cayenne, lemon juice and 1/2 cup water
  • Stir well and simmer for 15 minutes
  • Remove about 1/2 cup of liquid from the pot and reserve. Add the peanut butter to the reserved liquid and stir to mix. Return to the pot.
  • Add the kidney beans and cook until heated through – about 10 minutes.

Click to print

Nigella’s Sexy Sesame Peanut Noodles

I am not sure how sexy these noodles are, but they are quick and they are easy. Two important things when you would rather be outside enjoying the sunny day than spending a lot of time in the kitchen.

After getting the week’s grocery shopping finished this morning, EPC and I ventured down to Whyte Ave to take in the Annual Art Walk and enjoy a perfect summer afternoon. In my books that means less than 25°C, with a cool breeze, and few clouds to give you a shady break now and again.

We will be heading out to the Toronto area next week and since they have been stuck in a heat wave for the last three weeks (with no end in sight) I figure we should enjoy the comfortable Edmonton weather while we can.

I adapted tonight’s recipe from Nigella Lawson’s Good Food Fast.  Although this cookbook does not feature a lot of vegetarian entrees, it does feature quite a few fast desserts and, as cookbooks go, is an enjoyable read.  As a result, I don’t think that I would recommend it as a must have cookbook for vegetarians, but my omnivore friend who  has a copy of this book uses it quite frequently for quick week night meals.  Nigella also includes a great recipe for making quick individual pizzas on store-bought naan bread, which EPC and I whip up quick frequently for a quick lunch during the winter months.

This meal is even quicker and easier if you use ready-cooked egg noodles, but I prefer to cook up some brown rice noodles instead.  With regard to the vegetables, use your imagination and add what ever tickles your fancy and suits your mood. Tonight we decided on snow peas, red pepper, and spring onions.

Sesame Peanut Noodles

1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of soy sauce (for gluten-free, substitute wheat-free tamari)
1 teaspoon of sambal oelek
1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter (I use all natural)
2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice

2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 block of firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 cup of snow peas, ends trimmed and halved
1 red pepper, finely sliced
3 spring onions, finely sliced

1 375 gram of brown rice noodles, cooked, drained and tossed with a few drops of sesame oil to prevent sticking (or 500 grams pre-cooked egg noodles)

2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons of cilantro, finely diced

  • Saute tofu cubes in oil until brown on at least 2 sides
  • While tofu is browning, whisk together sesame oil, olive oil, soy sauce, sambal oelek, peanut butter and lime juice.  You may need to add a bit of water if the sauce if too thick.  Taste and adjust seasonings.
  • Add the cooked noodles (or pre-cooked noodles) and toss with the sauce.
  • Add the vegetables and toss.
  • Add the tofu cubes and toss.
  • Top with cilantro and sesame seeds

Click to Print

Katchoomber Salad (and a Recipe Index!)

I love non-lettuce salads.

I like the fact that you get more nutritional bang for your buck with more substantial vegetables in the salad bowl.  Another plus is that these salads keep longer in the fridge than their lettuce-based counterparts and you know how much I love taking leftovers for lunch!

Katchoomber is one of my favourite salads.  It is easy to make, tastes wonderful, and keeps for a couple of days in the fridge without going soggy.  I am not a fan of raw onion, so feel free to add a few slices of red onion to the carrots, cucumber, and celery if you like.

This recipe has been adapted from Daksha’s Gourmet Spices Cookbook Three: Indian Vegetarian Cuisine. The neat thing about this cookbook is that it my In-Laws picked it up for me at a local craft sale.

They certainly know me well: I love cookbooks and I love Indian Cuisine.

The cookbook comes in a package with 5 or 6 spices that are needed to make the recipes in the book. Of course you can pick them up at any specialty Indian grocer, except for one. One of the spices, thana jeero is a special blend from the author’s family, so when I ran out I had to make a trip to the craft sale the following year to pick up more of the spice.

As I mentioned before, the best thing about this salad is the crunch. Of course the tangy vinegar, the musky cumin, and the surprise bite of freshly grated parmesan (which at first seemed a little out-of-place – until I tasted it!) make this salad stand out. Just to prove my point, I took this salad to a work potluck and it was all anyone could talk about. Everyone, even the more conservative eaters, couldn’t get enough.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. I have added a recipe index to Cookbook Cooks to make searching for your favourite recipes a bit easier.  You can access it from the top of the page, or by clicking here.

Katchoomber Salad

1/2 long english cucumber, julienned
3 medium carrots, julienned
3 celery stalks, julienned
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon crushed cumin seeds (I crushed them using a motar and pestle)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon grated parmesan

  • Put vegetables in a large serving bowl
  • Whisk together oil, vinegar, salt, cumin, and cayenne until well blended
  • Pour dressing over salad and toss.
  • Add cilantro and parmesan before serving

Click here to print

Quick and tasty weeknight meal – Thai Curry with Vegetables and Tofu

Did you ever think you could enjoy a Thai curry on a weeknight without having to go to a restaurant?

Perhaps it seems to exotic to fall into the quick and easy category?

Well, exotic or not, this Thai Curry is quick and tasty enough to spruce up your weeknight dinner repertoire.

I came across a version of this recipe in Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Suppers, but after taking a look at the recipe I realized that it was basically the same as the one on the side of my jar of Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste.

Thats right. I took this recipe straight of the side of the jar of curry paste – with the appropriate vegetarian modifications, of course. You certainly do not have to limit yourself to the red curry, as the green curry paste is equally good. In addition, feel free to experiment with the vegetables: half a can of baby corn, some broccoli or cauliflower would work equally well.  I also think a bit of spinach would be a tasty addition.

Aside from slicing a carrot and a couple of shallots, chopping and seeding a roma tomato, cubing a package of firm tofu, and tearing some basil leaves, the meal came together with frozen green beans, frozen peas, and a can of coconut milk. To cut down on time I decided to forgo the brown rice and use brown rice noodles instead. They cook quite a bit quicker and offer a pleasant change of pace.

Thai Curry with Vegetables and Tofu

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 -14 ounce can light coconut milk
1-2 tablespoons Thai Kitchen red curry paste (this is quite spicy, so adjust for personal taste!)
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons soya sauce
1 block firm tofu, cubed
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 roma tomato, seeded and chopped
2 medium carrots (cut into thirds and thinly sliced lengthwise)
1 cup of frozen green beans
1/4 cup of frozen green peas
10 basil leaves, shredded

  • Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet add tofu cubes and cook until golden.  You will need to turn the tofu half-way through cooking.
  • Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.  In the same pan gently fry the scallions for 3 minutes and then add the curry paste, stirring until fragrant.
  • Add the coconut milk, soy sauce and sugar and stir to mix well
  • Add the carrots, tomato, green beans,peas and simmer until tender (about 10 minutes)
  • Add the tofu and basil and cook until heated through
  • Add water if sauce is too thick.

Click to print

Thai Chickpea Curry

I borrowed Vatcharin Bhumichitr’s Thai Vegetarian Cooking from my Mom a few years ago when I was visiting her and my Dad and I still have it.

I haven’t delved too far into the cookbook.  In fact, I think I have only made 4 recipes, but the recipe that I am going to share with you today gives this book its deserving place on my cookbook shelf.  This is recipe is so great that Lorna Sass adapted it for her wonderful book Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure.  You can find Lorna’s pressure cooker version of this recipe here.

The first words out of my husband’s mouth, after he finished chewing and swallowing were, “if I got this at a restaurant I would be really happy!”  (That means he really likes the dish).  The funny thing is I have made this dish a few times before, but he can’t remember.  Which brings me to a cute habit that my husband has.  He keeps a little notebook on his dresser where he writes down the recipes that I have made (or that he has made) that he really likes.  That way he won’t forget about them.  Since starting this blog we have rarely eaten the same thing twice and I think that he figures that with every dish I am delving into new uncharted territory.

I guess for Thai food, this is uncharted territory. Having chickpeas, or any bean, in a dish is quite unusual for Thai food.  I can say I have never seen a dish with chickpeas or any other bean on the menu at a Thai restaurant.  Vatcharin came across this recipe at a forest monastery west of Bangkok, so although not a common Thai recipe, it certainly is as authentic as it is delicious.

The recipe calls for coriander roots and, as I am sure you can imagine, these are difficult to find.  If I do find them at all, there is often just a small nub of the root left attached to the stalk, so you need to use quite a few of these nubs to equal 2 roots.  Personally, I do not find that the flavour is lacking without the roots, so you can avoid a special trip to the Asian market to search them out and just go ahead without.

Thai Chickpea Curry

3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 coriander roots, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 400 ml can of light or regular coconut milk
1 tablespoon of curry powder
1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

10 basil leaves, coarsely chopped

  • Using a mortar and pestle pound the garlic, peppercorns and coriander roots, if using, to form a paste.
  • Heat the oil and fry the paste for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
  • Add the coconut and stir well.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, bring to boil and simmer, until the potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.
  • Add the basil leaves and stir until wilted.
  • Serve over brown rice.

Click to print