Lentil Burgers with Curry

Yield 6

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

~Ingredients ~

  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • Sea salt
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 tbsp. extra virgin organic olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1-2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder*
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (leftover rice is fine to use)
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds, soaked for 7 hours
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

~ Directions ~

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Rinse and drain the lentils. Place them in a small saucepan with the 2 cups of water and bring to a boil, stir often. Add the turmeric ½ tsp of salt, and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet over low-medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the vegetables and continue to cook for about 6-7 minutes. Add the ginger, curry, cinnamon, and salt and cook for another minute. Continue stirring. Remove from the heat and add the rice, seeds, lemon juice, cilantro, and lentils. Mix well.
  4. When the burger mixture has cooled a little, shape 6 patties using a heaping ½ cup for each. Place each patty onto a baking-safe parchment paper lined baking sheet. Slightly flattened each burger with the palm of your hand. Place into preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve on leaves of big leaf lettuce. Serve hot, enjoy!

*For directions for homemade curry powder, click here.



Pasta Pesto Please

Pesto is my most favorite thing to make in the summer. Fresh basil makes all the difference! I acknowledge that each person has his or her own variation of pesto. My recipe is no exception. I, Like most people, was taught by my mother. She has taught me most things that I know about cooking. I document my cooking to share good quality recipes for everyone to enjoy!  Thank you!



4 cups Basil, leaves/stems divided

1 cup pine nuts, save 1/2 tbsp. to garnish

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, save 1/2 tbsp. to garnish

2 cloves garlic, whole

olive oil

Directions…as easy as 1,2,3,…4.

  1. Combine basil, nuts, cheese, and garlic together in a food processor.
  2. Gradually add olive oil to mixture.
  3. Remove to bowl and garnish with extra pine nuts and cheese.
  4. Enjoy on pasta or bruschetta!





Abby’s Guacamole

Most People love guacamole. It is a very popular dip for parties or just hot summer days. It is a refreshing and healthy snack that is easy to make. You just need the right ingredients! It takes no more than 10 minutes! Serves 6-8.


  • 3 ripe avocados
  • t tsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more if desired
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. cilantro, plus extra to garnish

Procedure: What you need… a bowl, a fork, a spoon, and fun!

After washing the avocados, cut them in half and remove the pit. Scoop the green flesh into a  medium bowl. Mash until it is a smooth creamy texture. Add the lime juice and zest, garlic, tomatoes, and cilantro and stir until well combine. The lime zest helps keeps the guacamole fresh and green, but make sure that you don’t scrape the lime too hard where you get a white bitter taste. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips, nachos, or bread. Enjoy!



Bean Salsa on Rice

Serves 8, and great for leftovers…

Prep/cook time: 1 hour


  • olive oil
  • 2 white onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 lb. cherry tomatoes
  • 1x14oz. can black beans
  • 1x14oz. can pinto beans
  • a bunch of cilantro
  • 2 cups brown rice

Start the rice. Follow the directions on the box. Brown rice typically takes 40 minutes to cook.

While the rice is cooking, heat the oil in a large saucepan. Finely chopped the onion and add to the pan. Cook on low heat until onions are soft, 2 minutes.

Add garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, and 1 tsp. the cilantro, chopped. Stir and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.

Cut the tomatoes in quarters and add to the pan, including seeds and skins. Stir and continue to cook for 10-15 minutes, uncovered on medium low heat.

Once the sauce has thickened, add the beans. Stir. Cook for 10 minutes more.

Set aside off heat.

When the rice is done, move it to a large bowl to cool. When cooled, pour the bean salsa over the rice. Mix until well combined. Garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

P.S. This recipe is also great with leftover rice.

Summer Vegetable Lasagna

Inspired by The Greens Cook Book: Extraordinary Vegetarian Cuisine from the Celebrated Restaurant by Deborah Madison with Edward Espe Brown

This is a three part recipe. First, tomato sauce. Second,the custard. Third and lastly,  vegetables. Follow as shown below.

Serves 6-8; a good potluck dish

Cook/prep time: 1.5 hours


For the tomato sauce

  • 2-3 large fresh tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • sugar, if necessary

Chop the tomatoes into chunks, keep seeds and skin for additional flavor.

Warm the oil in large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, or until onions soften, stir occasionally. Add the tomatoes and raise the heat to medium. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until sauce has thickened. Add more salt if needed. Also, if needed, add a teaspoon of sugar to balance the acidity. Set aside.

For the custard

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream or whole milk
  • 1/2 Parmesan cheese, grated
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsp. of chopped basil
  • 6-8 thin slices Gruyere cheese (optional)

For the custard

Beat the eggs. Stir in the ricotta cheese, milk, Parmesan, and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

For the vegetables

  • 4-5 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 Japanese aubergines (eggplants), cut into round slices
  • 2-3  zucchinis, cut into round slices
  • 1 white onion, finely sliced
  • sea salt
  • 1 white or yellow onion, chopped in thin slices

Heat oil in a large skillet. When the oil is hot, add the eggplant and aubergines and season with salt. Reduce heat to medium low. Flip and toss in oil until brown and tender, 5 minutes. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.

Using the same skillet, add the onion and more oil if needed. Cook until onions have softened. Remove to separate plate. Set aside.


Preheat the oven to 350 F. Use a large casserole dish, Cover the bottom with a little tomato sauce. Lay half of the aubergine/zucchinis over the sauce. Sprinkle an extra teaspoon of chopped basil over the layer of aubergines/zucchinis. Follow with slices of Gruyere (if using.) Top with the remaining sauce. Follow with the remaining aubergines/zucchinis, and then the onions. Finish with with custard, covering the whole area.

Bake for 40 minutes, until the custard has gently swelled and lightly browned. Let it rest for 5 minutes before enjoying. As found from experiment, this dish is even better the second day.








Indian-spiced Potatoes with Chicken

Inspired by Jamie Oliver

Made for Summer Fun with fresh produce and even farmers’ market chicken

Serves 6

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hr. 25 min.

recipe and photo credit: jamieoliver.com
  • 1.5 lbs. of potatoes
  • 4 ripe fresh big tomatoes in summer
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 aubergine (a.k.a. eggplant)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 inch. of a ginger root thumb
  • ½ bunch of coriander or cilantro
  • olive oil or coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 handful of curry powder
  • 1 heaped tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 heaped tsp. ground cumin
  • 6 large organic free-range chicken thighs or breast
  • 2 fresh red or green chilies

For the Dressing

  • ½ bunch of fresh mint
  • ½ lemon
  •  a thumb size of ginger
  • 150 g natural yogurt, low-fat
  • 1 fresh green chili

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Cut the potatoes in cubes and bring to a boil in salted water, reduce the heat to low and cook until softened. Drain and cool.

Cut the pepper, aubergine, and onion into slices.

Mix potatoes, tomatoes, pepper, and onion in a large bowl.

Peel and finely chop the garlic. Peel and finely grate the ginger. Pick the coriander (or cilantro) leaves and set aside, and then chop the stalks.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan.

Add the garlic, ginger, coriander (or cilantro) stalks, mustard seeds, curry, turmeric and cumin. Cook for 2 minutes, or until fragrant, set aside to cool.

Add the spice mixture to the potato mixture in a casserole dish. Arrange the chicken on top, and season with salt and pepper.

Roast for 1 hour, until the chicken in fully cooked.

For the Dressing

While chicken is cooking, blend together mint, lemon juice, ginger, yogurt, and chili until smooth. After chicken is done, top chicken with sauce and serve immediately. Enjoy with a fresh green lettuce salad with light oil/vinegar dressing!

To learn more about Jamie Oliver and his incredibly delicious and healthy recipes, click here.

Chicken Balti

Inspired by Jamie Oliver.

This recipe is also good for the winter months. The Jamie Oliver website is wonderful. He features hundreds of amazingly healthy and scrumptious meals, for all ages. His website and cookbooks have been considerably helpful for me as I learn culinary skills and develop my own style of cooking. I encourage anyone who likes to cook or would like to learn to go check out his website and  his cookbooks. It is a good place to begin and get inspiring ideas!

Serves 4-6

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

recipe and photo credit: jamieoliver.com
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 fresh red chilies
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
  • 2 onions
  • olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 2  bay leaves
  • a small handful of green cardamom pods
  • 6 skinless boneless organic free-range chicken thighs or breast
  • 1x14oz. can of plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • ½ bunch of fresh coriander or cilantro to garnish
  • white or brown basmati rice to serve


Peel the garlic, de-seed the chilies, and place into mortar and pestle to make a rough paste. Add salt and pepper. Peel, chop, and grate ginger and add to paste. Set aside.

Finely chop the onions.

Heat the oil in a large dutch-oven sauce pan. Add the cinnamon, bay leaves, and cardamom. Stir for 1 min. Add the onions. Reduce heat to low and slightly fry for 15 minutes, or until onions are soft.

Chop the chicken into cubes and add to pan. Stir.

Add the chili paste. Cook for 2 more minutes.

Add the tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low.

Add the yogurt and cook for another 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened.

Make in the morning and let in marinate in the juices all day. When ready to serve, heat and enjoy with rice. Garnish with cilantro or coriander. Enjoy!