Mushroom Burgers with Caramelized Onions & Kale Chips

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We've doing our best to eat healthier lately, and that means we've had to get creative with the types of foods we're cooking in the kitchen.

Case in point: the mushroom burger, which is a nice substitute for an actual burger and, though it doesn't necessarily taste like a hamburger, it's packed with its own flavors that make it equally satisfying. We tweaked a recipe from Christal and made it our own, leaving out the dairy, but you could totally add cheese to make it even better.

Here's what we did:

Ingredients:

  • Portabello mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced sweet white onion
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 2 cups mixed greens lettuce
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Kaiser rolls
  • Kale
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the grill.
  2. Take a large ziploc, and place mushrooms in the bag, add the balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and seal bag. Shake the bag until the mushrooms are coated in the vinegar and oil. Let sit for a few minutes while preparing the other ingredients.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), rinse the kale and chop it into chip-like pieces. Place on a non stick baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, pepper, and sea salt. Cook for 10-15 mins or until chips are crispy and the edges are brown. Remove and let cool.
  4. Heat a non stick pan over med-high heat, add in the sliced onions and olive oil, toss to coat the onions with salt and pepper.
  5. Lower heat to medium, and cook the onions, stirring often until they are soft and browned, about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove mushrooms from ziploc and place on the heated grill, rounded side up. Let cook for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, slice tomato and wash lettuce, and prepare any other preferred garnishes.
  8. Turn mushrooms over so they are flat side up and top the inside of the mushrooms with the caramelized onions.
  9. Continue to cook for 3 more minutes then remove from grill.
  10. Using your favorite buns, assemble burgers starting with the dijon mustard, then top with the mushroom and onions and cheese, then top with tomato, lettuce, and the other half of the bun.
  11. Enjoy!
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Day 10: Tomato & Basil Pasta

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We've been craving pasta lately, probably because we've been watching too many cooking shows on Netflix (hello Chef's Table), so we decided to just go for it and make some for ourselves tonight.

We wanted something light and fresh tasting, something that would go well with red wine and French Cafe Radio on Pandora because you know our feelings about getting the mood just right to enjoy a good meal. We weren't sure what we wanted to make, but we knew we had a tomato we needed to use up, so we started there.

Thomas' mom grows basil so we picked up some from her house and thus, dinner tonight was born. To be honest, we didn't measure anything and just kind of through it together, but here is a similar recipe to what we made tonight.  Here's the breakdown:

Ingredients:

  • Pasta of your choice (we used whole wheat)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (we used 2 whole tomatoes, diced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • About 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved (we didn't use this but it sounds delish)

Instructions:

  • Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; place pasta in a large bowl.
  • While pasta cooks, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Add tomatoes and salt; cover and cook 4 minutes.
  • Remove from heat; stir in basil and pepper.
  • Add tomato mixture to pasta; toss well to combine.
  • Top with cheese (optional)
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It took 15 minutes to make and filled us up for the whole night. Something about fresh ingredients, French music, a glass of wine, and summer nights after it just rained makes us nostalgic for a place we've never been before. Maybe Italy. Do you know what we mean? At the same time, it makes us appreciate being home and gives us that comforting feeling of being completely content in the moment. 

We hope you've had a good weekend. Here's to starting the new week off right!

xx

Creamy Garlic Avocado Pasta

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Tonight we were in the mood for something rich and savory, but that wouldn't be absolutely terrible for us. We had noodles, we had avocados, and we had garlic. Suddenly, a dinner was born. This pasta is quick and easy and tastes delish. A nice summer dish that you won't feel guilty about eating (tbh you should never feel guilty about what you put in YOUR body. You do you xx).

Let's get right to it, shall we?

Ingredients

  • Cavatappi noodles (however much you want)
  • 1 avocado
  • Olive oil, to taste
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup of parsley (preferably fresh) 
  • 1/4 cup of basil (preferably fresh) 
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
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Instructions

  1. Fill pot on the stove with water and salt and heat to a boil. Put noodles in and monitor while stirring often.
  2. Peel avocado and place whole in blender or food processor. 
  3. Squeeze the lemon and pour the juice into the processor. 
  4. Heat tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on medium to high heat. Once hot, put minced garlic in and sauté for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Pour garlic into the food processor.
  5. Pour basil, parsley, salt, and pepper into the food processor and puree for 1-2 mins.
  6. Mix sauce with noodles and sprinkle a little parmesean cheese if you're feeling crazy.
  7. Enjoy :)
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Zucchini Noodles with Tomatoes & Mushrooms

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We've been doing our best lately (and by lately we mean this week) to eat healthier and make smarter choices in the kitchen. With our vegan pizza we made the other night, we thought it would be fun to try another healthy option for dinner.

You know our feelings about pasta, so it's no surprise we can't go a week without eating it. Last night, however, we opted for a healtheir alternative that was very easy and quick to prepare. Here's how to make it!

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Ingredients

  • Zucchini noodles (we just bought a pre-made pack at Publix)
  • Mushrooms (we used portobellos, bought in a small pack at Publix)
  • 1 whole tomato, chopped
  • Half onion chopped (we used a red onion)
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • Olive oil (we didn't measure, but a few drizzles will do)
  • Fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a sauté pan over high. Add olive oil, garlic, onions, and mushrooms. Sauté until lightly browned; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add tomatoes, season with salt, pepper, and garic powder and sauté for 1 minute. Mash tomatoes with a fork until almost a thick sauce consistency.
  3. Toss in the zucchini noodles and cook until tender.
  4. Finally, add in the chopped basil and stir for 30 seconds.
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We can honestly say we found it delicious and now realize more than ever that you don't have to sacrifice good tasting food to eat healthy. Feeling positive and energized and looking forward to the future!!! 

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Homemade Vegan Pizza

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Last night we made vegan pizza for the first time and we have to admit, we were skeptical at first. We decided to go the healthier route for pizza because we're trying to eat better since we have a very, um....select pallet. By select pallet we mean we love pasta and cookies waaaaay too much. Okay moving on.

We Googled some vegan pizza recipes and settled on one that we have to say, was absolutely delicious. It was from Minimilist Baker, a favorite food website of ours. Why don't we get right to it?

Ingredients

PIZZA

  • 1/2 of one Trader Joe’s garlic-herb pizza crust (or half of this homemade recipe or this gluten-free recipe)
  • 1/2 cup each red, green, and orange bell pepper, loosely chopped
  • 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp each dried or fresh basil, oregano, and garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

SAUCE

  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce OR 6-ounce can tomato paste (organic when possible)
  • 1/2 tsp each dried or fresh basil, oregano, garlic powder, granulated sugar
  • Sea salt to taste (~1/4 tsp)

TOPPINGS

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C) and position a rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Bring large skillet to medium heat. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp olive oil, onion and peppers. Season with salt, herbs and stir. Cook until soft and slightly charred – 10-15 minutes, adding the mushrooms in the last few minutes. Set aside.
  3. Prepare sauce by adding tomato sauce to a mixing bowl and adding seasonings and salt to taste. Adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside. Note: If using tomato paste, add water to thin until desired consistency is reached.
  4. Prepare vegan parmesan if you haven’t already by blitzing raw cashes, sea salt, nutritional yeast and garlic powder in a food processor until a fine meal is reached. Transfer to jar and refrigerate to keep fresh.
  5. Roll out dough onto a floured surface and transfer to a parchment-lined round baking sheet. You’re going to add the pizza WITH the parchment directly to the oven to properly crisp the crust, so any round object will do as it’s not actually going into the oven (I use a wood board).
  6. Top with desired amount of tomato sauce (you’ll have leftovers, which you can store in a jar for later use), a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and the sautéed veggies.
  7. Use the baking sheet to gently slide the pizza directly onto the oven rack WITH the parchment underneath. Otherwise it will fall through.
  8. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.
  9. Serve with remaining parmesan cheese, dried oregano and red pepper flake. Leftovers keep well – no need to reheat! Cold pizza is yum.
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We used vegan mozzarella cheese from Publix (instead of parmesan cheese), the Daiya Foods brand, and it was so good. We couldn't tell that it wasn't really cheese and PJ commented that the pizza reminded him of cornbread (??). Not sure how he made that connection but he liked it, so it's a win in our book!

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Also, it's best served with an entire bottle of wine (for two to share, of course) and Bossa Nova radio playing while you make it/eat it. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did. xoxo

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