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Tag Archive: vegetarian

Fire Roasted Corn and Black Bean Burgers with Mango Salsa (gluten-free + vegan)

June 16, 2015 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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Happy summer! The sun is shining! Birds are singing! No math for two and a half months! (Sorry, conic sections, but I’m giving you the Cee Lo Green treatment.) I am now officially a senior! I can read books I want to read! I can use exclamation points freely in writing without looking like a fool! HOORAY!!!

I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the beginning of this beautiful season than with a fresh yet hearty veggie burger.

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How did these gorgeous burgers come about? Basically, I was in a very big cooking mood after taking my SAT subject tests last month, so I made homemade buns, black bean burgers, and salsa, all from scratch, and then proceeded to artfully arrange them for photographing purposes.

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Here are the buns I made that I’m not going to give you a recipe for…because it’s TOP. SECRET. (OOHHHH.) Actually, I’m just lazy, so you’re stuck with a photograph. Sorry bub.

To give you some perspective, these burgers were about half the size of my head, and neither of my parents could actually fit the entire thing into either of their mouths at once. Sorry to disappoint you, but this dish won’t stay this perfectly-assembled for very long.

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While these burgers aren’t meaty, I’d say, they have a wonderful chewy texture and are loaded with flavor. Black beans and corn are already a winning combination, but when you pair them with juicy mango pieces, luscious avocado slices, and crunchy fresh vegetables, you have a recipe for awesome. Studded with cumin, chili powder, and smoked paprika, this dish has the perfect amount of seasoning without being too spicy.

Best of all, both the burgers and the salsa are super easy to prepare, especially if you’re using store-bought buns or making a veggie burger salad instead. (This, however, was not the case for me: to quote my AP chemistry class, “Abby, you always take the complicated way.”)

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Really, though, the process is simple. You saute everybody in a pan…

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…then for a pulse in the food processor and an orderly formation…

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…and finally a bake in the oven until beginning to crisp and tender in the center. And the salsa, well, it’s basically just mixing things together in a bowl. I think you can do that.

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But if you still need a recipe, I’ve got you covered for both below. 😉

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Mango + Cucumber Salsa

Fresh, simple, and sweet, this salsa makes for a fabulous summer accompaniment to anything grilled or simply on its own. Feel free to substitute basil or cilantro for the mint and lemon or orange juice for the lime.

Ingredients

Prep Time 5 min
Cooking Time
Total Time 5 min
Yield 6-8 servings

2 mangoes, fully ripe

1 small cucumber or 1/2 of a large cucumber

A handful of mint leaves, finely minced

The juice of 2 limes (about 3-4 tablespoons)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Peel, slice, and dice the mangoes into 1/2-inch cubes. Peel and de-seed the cucumber and dice it about the same size as the mango.

Mix the mango and cucumber in a bowl with the mint leaves, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Stir together and taste, then add more lime juice, salt, or pepper if necessary. For best results, let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before eating.


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What is your favorite summer burger? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know! 🙂


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Mango + Cucumber Salsa

May 20, 2015 Print this page

Fresh, simple, and sweet, this salsa makes for a fabulous summer accompaniment to anything grilled or simply on its own. Feel free to substitute basil or cilantro for the mint and lemon or orange juice for the lime.

Ingredients

Prep Time 5 min
Cooking Time
Total Time 5 min
Yield 6-8 servings

2 mangoes, fully ripe

1 small cucumber or 1/2 of a large cucumber

A handful of mint leaves, finely minced

The juice of 2 limes (about 3-4 tablespoons)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Peel, slice, and dice the mangoes into 1/2-inch cubes. Peel and de-seed the cucumber and dice it about the same size as the mango.

Mix the mango and cucumber in a bowl with the mint leaves, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Stir together and taste, then add more lime juice, salt, or pepper if necessary. For best results, let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before eating.


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Purple Vegetable Sushi (vegan + gluten-free)

March 14, 2015 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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Hello there! Sorry for disappearing again…I tend to do that a lot. You may file a complaint with my AP Chem teacher if you require more Yes to Yummy in your life. 😉

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I love sushi. I love how all of the flavors and textures blend together in a few wonderful bites that just make me smile with delight. I love how fun and colorful sushi can be, and who doesn’t love eating pretty food, anyway?

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I don’t make sushi often, not because I don’t love it, but rather because rolling and slicing the sushi just takes time. To be totally honest, it took be over an hour to prepare six rolls, which isn’t too bad other than the fact that it’s completely hands-on time and the rice you have to use is very, very sticky.

But again, all of the colors and that wonderful bite where everything squishy and crunchy blends together into sushi euphoria is all worth it. And sometimes you just need food to give you a little shove of sunshine and happiness in your life.

For the record, healthy food does fill me with joy. When I’m stressed or anxious, I crave something like this sushi filled with fresh veggies, not a greasy burger or processed sugary snacks. 🙂

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This time, I used cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, mango, and avocado inside the sushi, but you can of course use whatever vegetables (and fruit) you like. I’ve actually had sushi with strawberries in it and it’s pretty darn tasty…I’d recommend it.

The steps involved are actually pretty simple! First, you prepare the rice and cut up the fillings…

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…set up your sushi rolling station with nori sheets and a bamboo mat…

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…then add fillings and get rolling!

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Anyway, onto the recipe. Time for this chica to recover from her first SAT–five hours of bubble-filling hell! (WOHOO not.)

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Purple Vegetable Sushi (vegan)

Yes, YOU can successfully make sushi at home, I promise! You can of course use regular sushi rice here, but I love how the deep purple contrasts with the greens, reds, and golds of the fillings. I’m no sushi samurai, but these wound up being both beautiful and delicious…and if I can do it, you can, too!

Ingredients

Prep Time 1 hr
Cooking Time 30 min
Total Time 1 hr 30 min
Yield 6-8 servings

FOR THE RICE:

1 bag of Thai Sticky Purple Rice, or 2 1/4 cups of sushi rice

4 1/2 cups of water

1/3 cup of rice vinegar

3 tablespoons of sugar

3/4 teaspoon of salt + a pinch extra

FOR THE SUSHI:

2 large avocados, thinly sliced

1 large bell pepper, thinly sliced

2 small carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

1 medium cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced

1 mango, peeled and thinly sliced

6 sheets of nori (seaweed paper)

A bamboo sushi mat, which can be purchased here

Directions

FOR THE RICE:

Pour the rice into a collender and rinse well with until the water becomes clear. Dump into a medium saucepan, add the water and a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook until most of the water has been absorbed, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Warm for 5 minutes, or until both the sugar and the salt have been dissolved completely. Pour into a measuring cup with a lip and set aside.

Once the rice has finished cooking, let it stand for ten minutes before fluffing with a fork and transferring to a large bowl. Slowly add the rice vinegar mixture to the rice–JUST a little bit at a time–while fiercely stirring the rice with a wooden spoon or spatula. This will help the rice get properly sticky while cooling it down at the same time.

After all of the rice vinegar mixture has been used, set aside the prepared sushi rice and set up your sushi-making station.

TO ASSEMBLE:

Set out a bowl of water mixed with a little rice vinegar. You’re going to need this to wash your hands, because things are about to get, er, sticky.

To make a roll of sushi, place a piece of nori on the bamboo mat shiny-side down. Place a large scoop of the prepared sushi rice on top and, using damp hands, spread it out all over the nori sheet, leaving about an inch free on the end farthest from you and just a little space around the edges. The rice should form a layer approximately 1/2-inch thick all over the nori sheet and spread evenly throughout.

Now it’s time for the fillings! Place a couple of slices of each filling about 1/2 inch from the edge closest to you, keeping everything as tightly packed together as possible. You don’t want too much or else your roll is going to explode, so go light on fillings, especially for your first roll.

To roll the sushi, fold over the bottom of the bamboo mat on the edge closest to you over the fillings, picking up the nori sheet with you as you go. Give it a good squeeze to secure and continue rolling, using the mat to fold the nori over itself and applying gentle pressure every so often to keep things together.

Once you’ve completely rolled up the sushi, pull out the bamboo mat and use a sharp, damp knife to slice the sushi into smaller pieces. Repeat the process with the remaining rice, fillings, and nori.

Serve immediately with tamari or coconut aminos, and give yourself a big pat on the back for being a sushi ninja.


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What is your favorite sushi filling combination? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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Purple Vegetable Sushi (vegan)

March 4, 2015 Print this page

Yes, YOU can successfully make sushi at home, I promise! You can of course use regular sushi rice here, but I love how the deep purple contrasts with the greens, reds, and golds of the fillings. I’m no sushi samurai, but these wound up being both beautiful and delicious…and if I can do it, you can, too!

Ingredients

Prep Time 1 hr
Cooking Time 30 min
Total Time 1 hr 30 min
Yield 6-8 servings

FOR THE RICE:

1 bag of Thai Sticky Purple Rice, or 2 1/4 cups of sushi rice

4 1/2 cups of water

1/3 cup of rice vinegar

3 tablespoons of sugar

3/4 teaspoon of salt + a pinch extra

FOR THE SUSHI:

2 large avocados, thinly sliced

1 large bell pepper, thinly sliced

2 small carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

1 medium cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced

1 mango, peeled and thinly sliced

6 sheets of nori (seaweed paper)

A bamboo sushi mat, which can be purchased here

Directions

FOR THE RICE:

Pour the rice into a collender and rinse well with until the water becomes clear. Dump into a medium saucepan, add the water and a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook until most of the water has been absorbed, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Warm for 5 minutes, or until both the sugar and the salt have been dissolved completely. Pour into a measuring cup with a lip and set aside.

Once the rice has finished cooking, let it stand for ten minutes before fluffing with a fork and transferring to a large bowl. Slowly add the rice vinegar mixture to the rice–JUST a little bit at a time–while fiercely stirring the rice with a wooden spoon or spatula. This will help the rice get properly sticky while cooling it down at the same time.

After all of the rice vinegar mixture has been used, set aside the prepared sushi rice and set up your sushi-making station.

TO ASSEMBLE:

Set out a bowl of water mixed with a little rice vinegar. You’re going to need this to wash your hands, because things are about to get, er, sticky.

To make a roll of sushi, place a piece of nori on the bamboo mat shiny-side down. Place a large scoop of the prepared sushi rice on top and, using damp hands, spread it out all over the nori sheet, leaving about an inch free on the end farthest from you and just a little space around the edges. The rice should form a layer approximately 1/2-inch thick all over the nori sheet and spread evenly throughout.

Now it’s time for the fillings! Place a couple of slices of each filling about 1/2 inch from the edge closest to you, keeping everything as tightly packed together as possible. You don’t want too much or else your roll is going to explode, so go light on fillings, especially for your first roll.

To roll the sushi, fold over the bottom of the bamboo mat on the edge closest to you over the fillings, picking up the nori sheet with you as you go. Give it a good squeeze to secure and continue rolling, using the mat to fold the nori over itself and applying gentle pressure every so often to keep things together.

Once you’ve completely rolled up the sushi, pull out the bamboo mat and use a sharp, damp knife to slice the sushi into smaller pieces. Repeat the process with the remaining rice, fillings, and nori.

Serve immediately with tamari or coconut aminos, and give yourself a big pat on the back for being a sushi ninja.


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Falafel (gluten-free + vegan)

February 1, 2015 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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Happy February, everyone! We’ve survived the first month of 2015…only eleven more to go before the year I graduate, the year I become an adult, the year where the rest of my life begins arrives.

That’s a while away, though. I’m still getting used to writing the number fifteen so frequently on my papers for school, and I still have so many recipes I want to try and share with all of you, too!

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These falafel–or Middle Eastern crispy chickpea balls–are a dinner staple in my house. I get bored making the same thing over and over again, so for something to be a staple, it must be particularly special. And while it may look plain and simple, this dish is really anything but.

What I love falafel is that they can be made using very little kitchen equipment, require only about ten minutes of hands-on time, and usually yield a ton of leftovers, which are great for lunch and making people jealous. (Though I have brought in falafel for my friends and teachers, too, because I am just oozing with coolness. 😉 ) The combination of flavors and textures is wonderful, and everything on the plate is bursting with nutrition, from the protein in the chickpeas to the healthy fats in the sesame seeds to the vitamins in all of the fresh vegetables.

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Usually, falafel are deep-fried and served in pita bread. Sure, you can opt to do one or both of these routes, but I prefer my falafel baked and served over a bed of veggies for a lighter meal and less mess.

Don’t worry, though. I promise all of the crunch is preserved in the oven! Just follow my advice and you will wind up with a deliciously crispy final meal.

Most bean burgers or fritters call for cooked beans; falafel, however, use dried beans that have been soaked. So, for your first step, make sure you soak your chickpeas in a water bath overnight and up to 24 hours to soften them up.

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The next day, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and invite all of your remaining ingredients–including herbs, spices, onions, and garlic–to the party in the food processor and blend everybody up to get well-incorporated.

Then form into balls and place on a prepared baking sheet…

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…and off to the oven they go! (It’s about to get hot in here.)

After thirty five minutes of baking, let the falafel cool for a few minutes before serving with carrots, lettuce, bell peppers, cucumbers, and a tasty tahini sauce. It’s as easy as that! (I promise.)

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Falafel

Ingredients

Prep Time 10 min (plus soaking overnight)
Cooking Time 35 min
Total Time 45 min
Yield 25-30 falafel (about 6-8 servings)

FOR THE FALAFEL:

2 cups of dried chickpeas, soaked in water for 24 hours

2 large handfuls (about 2 cups) of parsley, mint, basil, or spinach

1 small onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

The juice of 1 small lemon (about 1-2 tbsp)

1 tablespoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of ground coriander

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

A pinch of cayenne (optional)

6 tablespoons of olive oil

Romaine lettuce, carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, and other raw vegetables, to serve

FOR THE SIMPLE TAHINI SAUCE:

1/2 cup of tahini (roasted sesame paste)

The juice of 1 lemon (about 2-3 tablespoons)

A generous pinch of salt

Water

Directions

FOR THE FALAFEL:

Before you do anything, make sure you soak the chickpeas in water overnight. This helps get the beans soft enough to go in the food processor and get mostly broken up, which is what you want. DO NOT use cooked beans–that will make your final falafel too mushy.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a large rimmed baking sheet with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. This provides a nice base so the bottoms of the falafel will get super crispy.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the remaining ingredients for the falafel with the exception of the remaining olive oil. I have a strong machine, so I don’t need to do much in the way of chopping/pushing the ingredients around. If you have a smaller/weaker device, make sure you chop everything up a little bit before adding it. If necessary, add a tablespoon or two of water to help get things moving. Try not to do this, though, because you want the falafel DRY so it’ll reach maximum crispiness in the oven.

Once everything is a uniform texture, get out a large ice cream scoop and form the falafel into balls. Use your hands to make them spherical, and place them on the prepared baking sheet. You should wind up with 25-30 falafel.

Pour the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a small dish and, using a brush, gently top each ball with a coating of oil.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes (or until golden-brown on the bottom), then flip over and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before eating. Serve with a variety of yummy veggies and tahini sauce (instructions below).

FOR THE TAHINI SAUCE:

To make the tahini sauce, simply combine the tahini with the lemon juice and salt, and slowly add water until a smooth, slightly-runny texture is achieved. Tahini is just weird, so be patient and keep stirring.


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What is one healthy dinner staple in your house? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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