Meat Free Monday: Lentil Burgers

We’ve been cooking with lentils a lot more lately, partly because I got a craving for meatless loaf, and partly because we only recently fully realized just how much sodium is in canned beans.

So my wife made some lentil burgers, and they were great!

  • Lentils mixed with oatmeal,
  • then cooked in a skillet without oil.
  • dusted with curry powder & red pepper,
  • then served with catsup and Just Mayo on toast.
  • Delicious!

    Meat Free Monday: Quick and Fresh-ish Salsa Bean Dip

    This is an easy, quick, and fresh tasting dip, great for a party when you want something vegan that doesn’t seem too out of place.


    • 1/2 red onion
    • 1 red or yellow bell pepper
    • 1 can corn kernels
    • 2 cups salsa
    • 2 cans fat free refried beans (make sure they don’t have any lard or pork fat).


    • Dice the bell pepper and onion 
    • Mix the corn, 1 1/2 cups salsa, and onions into the refried beans.
    • Microwave the whole thing on 70% power for 8 minutes, rotating at least once.
    • Then pour the remaining 1/2 cup salsa onto the top of the dip to give it a pretty red top. 

    Serve with tortilla chips, and enjoy.

    Meat Free Monday: Lower-Fat Tofu Breakfast Sandwich

    I love these because they’re savory and a little sweet, just like fast food breakfast sandwiches, but without the nasty heavy greasiness (and, of course, without the animal products).


    • 1 block firm or extra firm tofu
    • 8 slices white bread (I still love Sara Lee Artisano)
    • Vegan margarine
    • Jelly (I prefer grape or hot pepper jelly) 
    • Salt and pepper
    • Onion flakes 
    • Optional: vegan cheeze


    • Cut the tofu into 8 pieces. You’ll use 2 per sandwich 
    • Put the tofu in a nonstick pan on medium high heat.
    • Add salt and pepper and onion flakes to the tofu
    • Let it cook for 5 minutes without messing with it.
    • Flip it, add more salt and pepper and onion flakes, and turn the heat down to medium
    • Let it cook for 4 minutes without messing with it.
    • Toast the bread while the tofu is cooking.
    • Assemble the sandwiches: margarine, jelly, 2 pieces of tofu, and vegan cheeze if you like it.

    The onion flakes make it extra savory, the margarine and tofu make it creamy and rich, the toast makes it crispy, and the jelly makes it sweet.


    Meat Free Monday: Emilie Eats’ Vegan Cajun Red Beans and Rice

    So I finally took the time to make this recipe.

    I won’t reprint the recipe (just follow the link above), but I will give my impressions:

    First,  this took a lot more time and attention than I’m used to putting into my cooking. 

    It had a lot of ingredients, several steps, and took a long time to cook. This is no problem for a true foodie, but I mostly cook so I’ll have something to eat.

    The result was pretty good, but all I can really taste is the hot sauce, the bay leaves, and the dried beans, which I can never seem to get just right. 

    So my verdict is: this is not a quick, easy, or lazy recipe. It requires more skilled hands than mine to really shine. Foodies only: for someone like me, it isn’t worth the effort as written.

    I may try it again with canned beans. That will cut the cook time way down and remove my main source of error. 

    I’ll also use less Tobasco, so it doesn’t overwhelm the other seasonings.

    I really think this is a good recipe, but I’ll need to cut it down to my skill level for it to work for me. 

    Meat Free Monday: Spinach Sandwich!

    Growing up in the South, I’ve eaten a lot of yummy tomato sandwiches, just sliced tomatoes, salt, pepper, and mayo on soft white bread (or toast).

    But just last week I discovered you could do the same thing with spinach.

    I’ve been devouring them like the end of the world is coming ever since. 

    You should give it a try. You can also combine them into a spinach and tomato sandwich, if you think you can handle it 🙂

    Oil Free, Tahini Free, Low-Fat Easy Hummus

    1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained.

    2 cloves garlic, chopped. This would have tasted better with 3, but the raw garlic makes me smelly, so I’ll cut this to 1 or use minced next time.

    2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    If substituting lime juice, use half as much and make up the liquid difference with water.

    1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce

    3 tablespoons of the liquid the canned chickpeas came in. Drain the chickpeas into a cup and draw your liquid from that. You can use water.

    Blend into a thick paste, adding liquid if needed. It helps if your blender doesn’t suck like mine does. 

    This really didn’t taste like much until I added spices. I added smoked paprika, crushed red pepper, a little chili powder, and salt.

    original source:

    Meat Free Monday: Low Fat Oil Free Lentil “Tim” Curry

    It’s a Tim curry because I’m Tim, it’s a curry,  and I wrote the recipe. Also, it can’t decide whether it wants to be a mad scientist, and evil clown, or a professional pirate when it grows up.

    • 2 cups cooked lentils
    • 2 medium potatoes, cooked and diced. Sweet potatoes taste even better than white potatoes,  but both work well
    • 2/3 to 1 cup cooked cut carrots
    • 1/4 to 1/2 medium red onion, sliced thin
    • 3 cloves garlic, diced
    • 1/4 to 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
    • Curry powder and red pepper to taste
    • Salt and black pepper 


    1. If you haven’t done so already, cook the potatoes, lentils, and carrots
    2. Simmer the onion,garlic, and red bell pepper in a little water until slightly soft
    3. Stir in the lentils, potatoes, and carrots
    4. Add curry and ground red pepper to taste 
    5. Cook covered on low heat for 10 minutes, until everything is hot, and the flavors have mixed. If it doesn’t treats quite right, add curry, stir, and simmer a few minutes longer.
    6. Add salt and black pepper to taste on the plate. You’ll use a lot less salt that way, and it will taste better.
    7. Eat over rice for best effect

      It’s hard to express how much I like this recipe, so I’ll let a more eloquent Tim do it for me:

      Quick Microwavable Oatmeal that Tastes like Banana Pudding 

      I was eating some oatmeal that had gone cold and it hit me: “this tastes like banana pudding!” 

      Alright, it doesn’t have exactly the right consistency,  but the taste is definitely there. 

      I’ll share the recipe and you can tell me if I’m crazy.

      One serving (I usually eat 2 or 3 servings):

      • 1/2 cup dry oatmeal
      • 2 medjool dates
      • 1/3 large ripe banana 

      Cut up the dates and put in a large microwavable bowl with the oatmeal. Cover the dates and oatmeal with water.

      Cook on high for 4 minutes

      Cut up the banana and stir into the cooked, how oatmeal.

      Let it cool just a little, then eat. Save a little, let it go cold, and see if you think it tastes like banana pudding. I do.