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Vegetarian Meals

In Easy Healthy Recipes/ Gardening Books/ Vegetarian Meals

Cooking Vegan – Healthful, Delicious and Easy

eggplant recipe picture


The subtitle of Vesanto Melina, MS, RD and Chef Joseph Forest’s new cookbook, Cooking Vegan, is “healthful, delicious and easy.” That sums up the essence of this great new vegan cookbook perfectly. Billed as a companion to Vesanto’s best-selling book Becoming Vegan, Cooking Vegan includes good introductory chapters to set the stage for the recipes that follow.

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In Dinner Recipes/ Easy Healthy Recipes/ Vegetarian Meals

Black Bean Burrito Recipe

black bean burrito recipe

This black bean burrito recipe is packed with heart-healthy fiber, delicious vegetables, and taste that can’t be beat! You can make it a vegan lunch or dinner entree by eliminating the egg and butter. The entire meal is a little over 600 calories and will keep you full for several hours.

black bean burrito recipe

Black Bean Burrito Recipe

I came up with this black bean burrito recipe out of necessity. First, I had cans of black beans in the pantry purchased on sale. I know that black beans are healthy for you, but what to do with them other than three-bean salad?

Next, I needed a lunch that kept me under my 200 grams of carbohydrates per day goal and under the total of 1700 calories I am trying to maintain. This meal fit the bill. At 14 grams of fiber, 19 grams of protein, and 54 grams of carbs, it is perfect for a filling meal.

A word about the fat content: the fat content is high because of the egg, butter, and avocado. I believe that fat is good for you. I know that it slows down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, which helps maintain steadier blood sugar. I find it also makes the food taste better. To lower the fat content, eliminate the butter and the egg.


Ingredients for Black Bean Burrito Recipe

  • 1 large Mission flour tortilla
  • 1/2 cup of rinsed, drained canned black beans
  • 1/2 cup of pickled peppers (I used my own home-canned ones. Substitute fresh or salsa if you don’t have any).
  • 1/2 a ripe avocado
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 egg


Heat and melt the butter in a small frying pan. Scramble the egg with just the butter (no milk) until to the desired texture. Gently heat the tortilla in the microwave for 15 seconds and layer the rinsed black beans, peppers or salsa, cooked egg and avocado in the tortilla. Roll the bottom up, then the sides, forming a pocket. Eat it carefully – it’s drippy but delicious!

The Pickled Peppers

What’s up with the pickled peppers? In 2013, I grew an absolute bumper crop of peppers. To this day, I haven’t had such a good year for fresh bell peppers. I canned so many batches of them I lost count. I pickled many of those batches using a simple pickling syrup and garlic from the Ball Book of Home Canning and Preserving Summer’s Bounty cookbooks. You can find recipes for similar peppers, below.


In Easy Healthy Recipes/ Vegetarian Meals

Easy Crepe Recipe

easy crepe recipe

This easy crepe recipe helps you whip up fresh crepes quickly on the stovetop with ingredients you have around the house. Among the many crepe recipes I’ve tested, this one is the best.

Easy Crepe Recipe

Fresh, hot, fruit-filled crepes…the thought of them makes my mouth water. I haven’t had crepes in years. My sister, Ann, used to make them for the family on Fridays during Lent.

I always thought that crepes were difficult to make. I avoided trying any crepe recipes until recently, when the craving for crepes made me search for recipes to test. I went through several until I tinkered with a basic crepe recipe to create my own.

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In Easy Healthy Recipes/ Vegetarian Meals

Foraged Food: Dandelion Greens Couscous

dandelion greens recipe

This delightful foraged food recipe uses either dandelion greens and chickweed or store-bought greens such as spinach. If you are new to foraging, be absolutely sure of what you’ve picked before you eat it.

dandelion greens

Lunch made from couscous, black beans, dandelion greens and chickweeds. Delicious.


Dandelion Greens, Nutritional Powerhouse

Dandelion greens are a nutritional powerhouse! They are packed with vitamins A and K as well as folate. One cup has almost 2 grams of fiber and protein. Better still, they are free and growing abundantly around you.

If you choose to eat dandelion leaves, pick only those that have  not been sprayed with herbicide. Choose the dandelion greens from plants growing in your garden and away from the roadside.  I once saw elderly women picking dandelions along the Belt Parkway in New York City – not an ideal place given the car exhaust and road salt that the dandelions came into contact with on a regular basis.

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Dandelion Greens Couscous Recipe

To make this recipe, you will need:

  • One box of couscous. I like the garlic parmesan flavored couscous for this recipe but you can use almost any flavor.
  • One cup of fresh greens. Dandelion leaves, chickweed, or spinach works fine.
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can of drained, rinsed black beans

Cook the couscous according to the package directions. Most recipes call for boiling water with oil or butter in it. Place the couscous seasonings and grain, cover, remove from the heat, and let the grains absorb the liquid.

While the couscous is fluffing up nicely, sauté the chopped greens in the butter until wilted but not overcooked. Add the drained, rinsed beans in and quickly saute for about a minute to warm them up.

When the couscous is done, add the warmed greens and beans, stir, and enjoy.  Makes 2 – 4 portions and can be vegan if you use olive oil for sautéing instead of the butter.

dandelion greens recipe

Dandelion leaves and chickweed add delicious greens to this simple recipe.