Happy Recipe Friday!
Today we are featuring Sophia DeSantis – author, photographer, and recipe-guru of Veggies Don’t Bite! We loved her plant-based, gluten-free, and refined-sugar-free recipes so much… we asked for TWO! But first let’s learn about…
Sophia, her blog, and how she “Lives Her Health”
Hi I’m Sophia! Veggies Don’t Bite has been a work in progress since October 2012 when my husband and I decided to make some changes in our lifestyle. I struggled with infertility to have our first son, and even though I thought of myself as a healthy person I soon found out that wasn’t enough. Through the help of both modern medicine and natural healing, I was able to conceive after many struggles. I truly saw how powerful food and what you put into your body can be. With my husband battling high blood pressure his whole life, we decided that we should take the advice of his cardiologist and try a little diet change. After only a few months, his high blood pressure no longer existed and we both felt better than ever before. I dove in head first on research, experimentation, and learning to cook in a whole new way. Friends and family began asking for tips and recipes and after a year of self-education and practice I decided it was time to share my knowledge and success with the world.
Veggies Don’t Bite is a plant-based, vegan, gluten-free and refined-sugar-free food blog targeted to all types of eaters. I am a mom to two beautiful boys and wife to an amazing husband. My family and I live a vegan, gluten-free and refined-sugar-free life 90% of the time because I believe that you don’t have to be perfect to make healthy choices. I have been featured on the Foodgawker, Tastespotting, Finding Vegan, Healthy Aperture and Red Tricycle websites along with guest posts on a variety of other sites and features in print in Go Gluten Free Magazine. Through my website, I hope to reach anybody interested in making a positive health change in their life. I love working with families, especially those with children because educating the young about healthy choices will lead to a lifetime of good habits.
KALE & LENTIL BALLS
Makes about 20 bean balls, about 2 inches in size
- 2 cups uncooked chopped mushrooms
- 1 ½ cups uncooked chopped kale
- Your favorite oil for sautéing veggies (or veggie broth if not using oil)
- 1 ½ cups precooked lentils
- 1 cup gluten free oats (may need more if mixture is too wet)
- ½ cup almond meal
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 flax egg (1 tablespoons ground flax seed plus 3 tablespoons water)
- Himalayan pink salt, garlic powder, basil, oregano, and smoked paprika to taste
Note: If there is a nut allergy, you can sub more oats for the almond meal. You can also use spinach or Swiss chard in place of the kale. These are also quite filling so I freeze half of the balls before cooking, for use at a later time. They freeze great! I ended up using a little over 1 cup oats.
Mix 1 tablespoon flax seed powder with 3 tablespoons warm water in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes to make flax egg.
Preheat oven to 350. Sauté chopped mushrooms and kale in oil or veggie broth until soft. Set aside. If lentils are not precooked, cook them according to directions.
Mash lentils with a potato masher or your hands, leaving some whole pieces, and add them to a large bowl. Add mushroom/kale mix to the bowl.
Next add the flax egg, gluten free oats, almond meal, and sunflower seeds. Mix well. Add seasonings and taste, start with a few shakes of each. Add more seasonings if needed, you should taste the seasonings but they shouldn’t overpower the mixture.
Once you get the taste you like, allow mixture to set a while so oats soak in some liquid (you can also do this after you shape into balls). If the mixture is too wet, then add some more oats 1/4 cup at a time until mixture is a thick dough, not too pasty.
Shape into 2-inch balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until browned.
CAULIFLOWER HEMP BURGERS
Makes about 10 large burgers
- 4 flax eggs (4 tablespoons ground flax seed plus 12 tablespoons water)
- 1 cup carrots in small pieces (or baby carrots)
- 1 cup mushrooms
- 1 head of cauliflower
- Your favorite oil for roasting veggies (or veggie broth if not using oil)
- 1 can garbanzo beans (rinsed well)
- 2 teaspoons crushed garlic or 4 cloves
- ½ cup chopped chives
- ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
- 2 cups hemp seeds (I use Hemp Hearts)
- 1 cup almond meal
- Himalayan pink salt and ground black pepper to taste
Note: I use heaping cups of the veggies. You can sub another gluten free (or non gluten free) flour for the almond meal if you need this nut free. It helps bind the burgers, so if you omit entirely they won’t hold together as well. These get more stable in texture as they cool so allow them to sit for a few minutes before eating.
Preheat oven to 400. Mix 4 tablespoons ground flax seed with 12 tablespoons water in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes to make flax eggs.
Wash and chop veggies. Place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet, sprinkle oil (if using), a dash of salt and pepper and bake at 400 for 15 minutes, until cauliflower is soft but not mushy. Put veggies, garlic, chives and parsley in a food processor, and pulse until chunky but chopped. Do not puree into a mush or paste.
Next add mixture into a large bowl, keeping about a fourth of it in the food processor. Add the beans into the food processor and mix until beans are part puree but still have some chunks. Add to the bowl.
Add hemp seeds, almond meal, flax eggs, salt and pepper to the bowl and mix well. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed, it should taste good as is raw.
Once you get the taste you like, allow mixture to set a bit so hemp seeds soak in some liquid. The mixture should hold together well, if it does not then mash the beans a bit more.
Shape into 4-inch patties, then cook on stove top over medium heat for 6-8 minutes on each side (depending on stove). Make sure to keep pan covered to help the burger cook throughout. Check every few minutes to prevent burning, should be slightly browned when ready.
Serve on lettuce for a lower carb meal or on sprouted wheat or gluten free buns. Top with Garlic Chive Aioli (see separate recipe), and other toppings of choice such as tomatoes, lettuce and red onion. Serve with oven fries (recipe here), I like to sub purple potatoes for the regular ones.