Roasted Asparagus Salad with Chickpeas and Potatoes

This is a wonderful salad that is made especially delicious by the addition of fresh asparagus that is found at the Palos Heights Farmer’s’ Market!



  • 2 medium gold or red potatoes (about 10 ounces)

  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas

  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and sliced into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 small onion cut into thin wedges

  • 2-3 cloves garlic, unpeeled

  • 1/4 cup fat-free balsamic vinaigrette 

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

See the entire recipe and directions at the Fat Free Vegan Blog.

Marinated Lentil Salad

I am a bean lover, and lentils are one of my very favorites. They’re quick cooking when compared to other legumes and are low in calories but high in plant protein, iron, folate, and fiber! This delicious salad is a great way to serve them, and it’s especially nice since it stores well.




  • 1 lemon

  • 1/4 cup olive oil 

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 

  • 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano 

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • Freshly Cracked Pepper


  • 1 cup dry brown lentils 

  • 1/2 bunch parsley 

  • 1 pint grape tomatoes 

  • 1/4 small red onion 

  • 2 oz feta, crumbled (if you’re dairy free like me, it’s still delish without the feta)

See the entire recipe and directions at Budget Bytes.

Vegetarian Chili

This fantastic vegetarian chili makes super flavorful and healthy meatless meal! Serve it with cornbread for an extra treat!



2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
1 large stalk celery, finely diced
1 jalapeño, diced (remove seeds if you don't like spice)
2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped (optional)
2½ tbsp chili powder
½ tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt + black pepper, to taste
1-28oz can diced tomatoes, with juices
¼ cup tomato paste
1-15oz can pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
1-15oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

See the entire recipe and directions at Hummusapian.

Deconstructed Falafel Salad

This salad is absolutely amazing and gives a healthier spin on traditional falafels.



1 bundle of kale, torn into pieces
2 cans of garbanzo beans, drained and patted dry
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1 tablespoon of ground coriander
1/2 English cucumber, julienned
large handful of small tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
1/2 bundle of cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 bundle of flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 bundle of mint, chopped
1/3 cup of tahini
juice of 2 lemons
2 cloves of garlic
sea or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
pita or lavash chips

See the entire recipe and directions at Honestly Yum.

Summer Salad with Amaranth and Chickpeas

Amaranth is a grain well known in Mexico and Guatamala, but less so in the United States, which is unfortunate, since it's a fantastic, high protein, gluten free grain. Amaranth is a tiny grain that can be boiled like rice or quinoa, but it can also easily be popped like popcorn! This is a simple recipe that is a delicious introduction to a grain that definately deserves more notoriety!


½ cup cooked ( via package instructions) amaranth and ¼ cup toasted Amaranth
2 cups diced cucumber, seeds removed
½ cup finely chopped red onion
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup toasted amaranth
2 tablespoons canola blend salad oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 can Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

See the entire recipe and directions at Growing Up Bilingual.

Avocado and Three Bean Salad

This is a wonderful salad to bring to backyard get-togethers this summer! It's quick to put together and is bursting with flavor, plus it's high in plant protein and fiber!


1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can whole kernel corn, drained (or substitute fresh)
1 large orange or red bell pepper, diced
12 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 large avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, mashed or finely diced

See the entire recipe and directions at Noble Pig.

Corn and Summer Vegetable Sauté

This is a perfect summer dish that uses veggies fresh from the farmer's market!  


1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup chopped green onions (about 4)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup sliced fresh okra (about 4 ounces)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (about 1)
1 finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

See the entire recipe and directions at My Recipes.

Zucchini Burrito Boats

These are low carb and delicious, and are easily made dairy free!


  • 4 large zucchini
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 cup salsa (use your preferred level of spiciness)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1 jalapeno (or poblano pepper), cored and diced
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar/monterey jack cheese or Daiya shreds for a dairy free option

Read the entire recipe and directions at Make Thyme for Health.

Black Bean Mushroom Burgers

This recipe is from this month's issue of Energy Times.  I'm excited to make it since it sounds a little different from the standard veggie burger recipe!

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced small
1 lb button or Cremini mushrooms, chopped small 
1 cup dry black beans cooked until tender and strained or 2 (15 oz)
cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup dry farro, simmered in 3 cups water until tender and drained
1 tbsp garlic powder 
2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
A few dashes hot sauce 
1 tsp liquid smoke
Kosher salt and freshly ground black 
pepper to taste
2 tbsp high-heat oil like grapeseed or safflower

Roberto Martin says, “My nine-year-old son claims he hates mushrooms…but he loves these burgers. The secret? Black beans mixed with mushrooms and farro for a meaty texture—without all the additives and junk that’s in some packaged veggie burgers.” These patties can be made up to two days ahead of time and stored in the fridge or freezer until ready to use, or cook up a double batch and freeze half.

1. Heat a sauté pan or skillet over high heat. Add the oil and wait until it shimmers, about 30 seconds
2. Add onions and stir with a wooden spoon until they turn golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté 5 minutes more or until the pan is nearly dry. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
3. Place the beans and half the farro in a food processor with the garlic powder, soy sauce, hot sauce and liquid smoke, and pulse until well combined. Scoop into a large bowl. Stir in the onions and remaining farro. Taste and season with salt and pepper. 
4. Scoop a half-cup of the bean mixture and shape into a patty. Repeat until all the mixture is used. 
5. Heat a skillet and add 1 tbsp of high-heat oil, place four patties in the skillet and cook over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes per side. (Use a strong metal spatula to gently flip the patties.) Transfer to a sheet tray or large plate. Add the remaining tbsp of oil to the pan and cook the remaining 4 patties. Serve warm with standard hamburger fixings or serve as is over grilled asparagus or roasted broccoli. 

Note: If you want to grill the veggie burgers, cook them first as instructed above and allow them to cool on a sheet tray; then grill them until warm inside, about 2 minutes per side. Cooking them in a pan dries them out a little bit and forms a crust, which will allow them to stay together on the grill.

Yield: 8 burgers


Crockpot Mushroom Barley Lentil Stew

I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious.  Warm, comforting, and healthy.  Barley and lentils are full of fiber, which helps you to feel satisfied.  This is also a very easy dish to put together.


1 onion, chopped
6 cups water
1-2 tbs. Better Than Bullion Vegetable Base
1 16 oz. package sliced fresh mushrooms (or more for extra deliciousness)
3/4 cup uncooked pearled barley
3/4 cup dried brown lentils
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. sage
3 bay leaves
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. pepper
Olive oil
Salt to taste


Saute onion in olive oil until translucent.  This step is optional, but gives the stew a more complex, mellow flavor.

Throw all the ingredients in your crockpot and stir.  Add olive oil to taste (I add several tablespoons of olive oil to every soup or stew I make, which gives it a wonderful flavor).

Cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.  It can also be made on the stovetop.

Add salt to taste if needed after cooking.

Panera Copy Cat Black Bean Soup

I absolutely love Panera, and their black bean soup is one of my favorites.  This recipe comes very close to theirs; it's easy to make and completely delicious.  Serve it with some crusty bread and a green salad for a nice fall dinner.


  • 1 Medium Onion, small dice
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks of Celery, finely chopped
  • ¼ Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth (more or less as needed)*
  • 2 Cans Black Beans (15 oz), rinsed
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • about 1 tsp Lemon Juice (optional)

*I really love Superior Touch's No Chicken Base.  We have it at the store and I use it all the time when making rice or soups.  It's also much more economical than buying canned or boxed broth, and it's vegetarian too!

Read the entire recipe at

Black Bean and Brown Rice Salad

This salad is great on its own or makes a fantastic wrap for lunch or dinner!

  • 1 1/2 cups home-cooked black beans, or 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drain and rinse
  • 3 cups cooked and cooled brown rice, cooked to package directions (optional quinoa)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated raw zucchini
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 14 teaspoon black pepper
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Read the complete recipe and directions at


Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Tomatoes and Peppers

I love black eyed peas.  They’re full of protein and fiber and are absolutely delicious.

•    3 tablespoon(s) olive oil
•    2 tablespoon(s) balsamic vinegar
•    1 clove(s) garlic, finely chopped
•    1 teaspoon(s) granulated sugar
•    Kosher salt
•    Pepper
•    2 can(s) (15 1/2 ounces each) black-eyed peas, rinsed
•    2 plum tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
•    1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
•    1 jalapeño (seeded for less heat, if desired), finely chopped
•    1/2 cup(s) roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Read the complete recipe and directions at

Easy Spicy Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes

This is a great recipe for a fast, healthy lunch or dinner.  Sweet potatoes and black beans are perfect partners, and are full of fiber which helps you to feel fuller, longer.


2 ½ cups black beans and their cooking liquid (or 1 can of black beans)
2 cups chopped sweet potato
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 avocado, diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Read the complete recipe and directions at

Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup

1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (1-1/2 cups)
1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped (3/4 cup)
1 medium celery stalk, finely chopped (3/4 cup)
1-1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
2 Tbs. tomato paste
2 large cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
1 quart homemade or lower-salt vegetable broth
Two 15-oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
6 oz. Lacinato kale, center ribs removed, leaves chopped (about 4 firmly packed cups)
1 Parmigiano-Reggiano rind (1x3 inches; optional)
1-1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Read the complete recipe and directions at

Split Pea Soup with Herbes de Provence

This is one of my very favorite soups! Since split peas require no soaking, they are perfect for last-minute soups.


1 Tbs safflower or canola oil

1 Tbs finely minced garlic

2 cups coarsely chopped onions

1 tsp each dried basil, oregano and rosemary leaves

1 tsp whole fennel seeds

1 large bay leaf

2 large carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices

2 large celery ribs, diced

6 cups boiling water or vegetable broth

2 cups dried green split peas, picked over and rinsed

1/4 cup inced fresh parsley

Salt to taste

Read the complete recipe and directions at

Cajun Gumbo with Faro, Black-Eyed Peas & Kale


1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 organic green pepper, diced small
1 cup organic celery, sliced 
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp Cajun seasoning (more or less to taste)
1 14 oz can tomato puree
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
10 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1/2 cup black-eyed peas
1 cup faro or hulled barley
4 cups organic chopped kale or collard greens, stems removed, washed
1/2 cup cut blanched green beans or okra, optional
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Louisiana Hot Sauce, optional

Read the complete recipe and directions at Leafy Greens and Me.