Instagram & Falafel Veggie Burgers

First of all, before I forget, we are now on Instagram! I have wanted to do that for a very long time and today I did it! We are @ cookswithevie.

I have so many posts to finish! I hope I can get time to post them soon. 

We made these “burgers”, next time I want to try these on pita with tahini and hummus. I wasn’t prepared this time and just used the buns we had. 

This recipe is so easy. 

1/3 cup large flake oats

1cup chickpeas (I used canned, drained)

1cup lentils (I used canned, drained)

3 garlic cloves, minced 

2 green onions, chopped

1 egg

2tsp chili powder 

1tsp oregano

 1/4tsp salt

1/2 English cucumber, finely diced

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley 

Whirl oats in food processor until ground. Add in chickpeas, garlic, onion, egg, chili powder, oregano and salt. 

Process scraping down sides as needed until smooth. 

Place this mixture in a bowl and stir in lentils, cucumber and parsley. 

Shape into 4 patties.  

Cook patties in a lightly greased pan until golden on each side. 



We served on buns drizzled with tahini. And added whatever each person felt like adding. 

We also served with these baked sweet potato fries with curry lime dip.

 That super simple recipe will follow tomorrow.

Stewed Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Feta

I received a blog post in my inbox from Alexandra for this chickpea stewy dish and decided to try it because 1) Evie loves chickpeas 2) had a bowl full of cherry tomatoes from our garden and 3) needed a vegetarian meal. Perfect right? 

Before I forget here is the link to the recipe on Alexandra’s website,  https://www.alexandracooks.com/2016/08/30/stewy-chickpeas-tomatoes-feta/

First of all you need to sweat some garlic in olive oil, you do this slowly on low heat, I probably used 4-5 cloves sliced and roughly chopped. Just let the garlic cook down until soft. Then I stirred in 2 cans of chickpeas, probably about 4 cups.

Then I roughly chopped 3 regular medium sized tomatoes and about 2-3 cups halved cherry/grape tomatoes. 

Throw all of the tomatoes into the chickpeas. Stir. Then I added about 1/2-3/4 of a bottle of capers. And a large splash of balsamic vinegar. Turn up the heat to medium to get simmering and the tomatoes will start to release their juices. I sprinkled with little salt and black pepper. Once it is simmering and nice and stewy throw in a large handful or two of chopped fresh basil. 



When Evie walked into the kitchen she promptly stated that isn’t stew there is no broth, that is not enough broth. Right away she decided it was not going to be good. Until she tried then she gave me that look that says oh, actually I do like it.

Toast some crusty bread or baguette in a hot pan with olive oil to serve with the chickpeas.



Top chickpeas with crumbled feta and serve with toasted bread. It was delicious!

Fettucini Carbonara

IMG_6500This was the chosen birthday dinner by my husband, and I knew his answer before I asked the question. The recipe that I usually go to is from the America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.  But I had recently bookmarked Pioneer Woman’s post for this one and decided to give it a try and I think we liked it better.  We adapted it slightly as I have a big bag of frozen green chickpeas that I got at Costco so I used those instead of frozen peas. It was really good, silky smooth and delicious.  I will definitely make it again.

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Slow Cooker White Bean Soup

IMG_6164I have been trying to post this for quite awhile, weeks really.  I thought the timing today was good as alot of people have leftover ham after Easter and this is a great easy way to use it up.  Don’t throw out that ham bone!  We had a ham bone in the freezer from Christmas (that a friend had leftover and was going to throw out, so I took it home to freeze).  I decided I would try to make a slow cooker white bean soup to use it up before it was too old and ended up in the garbage. I am not good with freezer cooking and I often put things in the freezer with the best of intentions, but then never use them and they end up freezer burnt.

A couple of notes, you will need to soak the beans overnight and our ham bone as frozen so we thawed that in the fridge overnight as well.

Here are the ingredients that my helper wrote out so we would remember what we added:

1 ham bone with some leftover ham attached

8 cups water

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We placed the thawed ham bone in the slow cooker. Put in the white beans (which had been soaked overnight).  FYI-the garlic was minced. Threw everything else in on top of that, poured in the water and cooked for about 6-7 hours on high (you could do 8- hours on low).

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At the end of the cooking time, carefully lift out the bone and cut off some bits of meat to add back to the pot. We don’t like ham very much so I didn’t add much back to the pot, but add back as much as you would like to suit your taste.  Try it for flavour at this point and add a little more salt if needed.

After all day cooking you have this tasty very frugal soup, that went great with crusty bread

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Moldavian Potato Salad

This potato salad was given to me by a friend, it has a lot of flavour with feta, dill and so garlicky.  It is different from other potato salads in that there is no mayo.

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6 medium sized red potatoes, boiled in salted water until tender.  Once cooled enough to touch cut into chunks.

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Place 1/3 cup olive oil and 2 large cloves of garlic minced in a large bowl, throw in potatoes and toss to coat

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Cool to room temperature.

Then add 1 cup of crumbled feta, 3tbsp red wine vinegar and 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill and 1/4 cup chopped green onions.  I didn’t have green onions so I didn’t add those.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat.

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Allow to sit at least 1 hour before serving.

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Pickled Jalapenos

We used to make these every year when we got lots of jalapeños from our garden.  Our garden does not give us many peppers anymore due to shade from a large building that went up next to us.  I mentioned this recipe to Mimi when she said that she had a lot of jalapenos to use up from her garden and promised the share the recipe with her.

We use these on nachos and in any recipe that calls for a can of chopped green chilis, such as enchiladas, mexican rice, nachos or just on sandwiches.

These are easy to make and you can make as many jars as you like, even one if that is all the japans you have enough for.  I bought 6 or 7 large jalapeños and got these two jam jars.  You can easily double or triple this recipe if you need more.

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Remember one of the most important rules of canning is CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN.  You can never be to safe when preserving food.  I also find it best to have everything prepped and ready to go in assembly line order.  Put the water canner on to boil while you are getting everything else ready as it takes quite awhile to get that boiling. I sterilize the jars in there for at least 10 minutes boiling before canning.  You can also sterile your jars in the oven, I have done that method as well.  Please, if you are new to canning please do your research and get to know the process I recommend these websites which I have used for basic safety information The National Centre for Home Food Preservation, Government of Canada, and the Company that makes Mason Jars.  There are other great resources too, but there is a lot of information on the internet that is not accurate so ensure that you are using a reputable website.

You will need:

1 cup vinegar

1cup water

1 bunch jalapeño peppers

for each jar: 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 bay leaf, 1clove garlic

Remove stem and seeds from the peppers then slice in rings.

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Combine water and vinegar in a large saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Drop peppers in boiling liquid.  Cook for 5 minutes.

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While the peppers are boiling and once the jars have been sterilized, to each jar add 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 a small bay leaf, 1clove garlic

Pack peppers into sterilized jars and fill with hot liquid, leaving about 1.5 inch headspace.

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Add lids (which have been prepared as for any canning (by softening the rubber rings in simmering water bath for about 5 minutes) and rings (do not tighten the rings, (they should just be screwed on lightly, fingertip tight, air has to escape during boiling and for it to seal properly) process in a water canner for at least 10-15 minutes at a rolling boil with the lids covered in about 2 inches of water (please make sure you check proper processing time for preserving based on your altitude).  Remove from water and let sit on counter undisturbed for 24 hours.  The jars should seal as they cool, you will hear a little pop as they seal.  The lid of the jar should be sucked down flat and if you push on it it should not pop.

These will last for a year in the cupboard and once opened store in refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.

Roasted Eggplant Dip

I guess you could call this baba ganoush ( i know that is probably not spelled right), no matter what you cal it or how you spell it, it is GOOD!

Take two small eggplants (about 500-600g total) and poke holes all over with a fork

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Roast them in a 350F oven until they are very soft (about 45 minutes).  They will look all shrivelled like this

Let them cook completely then peel or scoop out the insides and mash them.  Place in a sieve and let them drain for awhile.

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While the eggplants are cooking heat 2 tbsps olive oil in a pan and add 1 very finely chopped sweet onion and 3 large cloves of minced garlic.

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Cook until golden and soft.

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Add the drained eggplant mash to this and stir looking for about 5 minutes, take off heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Let cool.

Once this is cooled, stir in 1 cup plain greek yogurt.  Taste a little on a pita chip and season with some more salt if needed.

Chill until ready to serve.

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Serve with pita chips.  We will post the recipe for those the next time we make them, as I wasn’t thinking about the post completely since it was getting late as I was making this for a work pot luck and I needed to get finished so I could go to bed!

Very nice if you finely chop a few fresh mint leaves and sprinkle over just before serving.

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Recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson.

Mango BBQ Sauce

Summer is in full swing and so is grilling.  This homemade BBQ sauce is so delicious and it isn’t full of sugar, high fructose corn syrup or artificial colours or nasty preservatives it has really ingredients and is full of flavour.  It keeps well refrigerated for weeks and you could freeze (in freezer bags) some as well.  It does make a lot.

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Chop the mango

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Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in pan and add 4 cloves chopped garlic and 1 sweet onion and 1 diced mango.  Sauce until soft and onions are translucent about 5 minutes.

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There is a handful of other ingredients

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I love this stuff and I add it to almost everything!

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To mango mixture add 1 28oz can of diced tomatoes and 1 small can (about 5 oz) of tomato paste, 1/2 pure maple syrup, 1/2 cup molasses,  1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 cup water, 2 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp ground pepper.

Once these are all added together mix bring to a boil and then simmer, stirring often for about 30 minutes.  The sauce will get a little darker and thicken.

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Take off heat and let cool for about another 30 minutes, then puree, I use a hand blender, and place in containers and refrigerate or freeze.

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This makes a lot for a small price!  And it is much healthier than commercially prepared sauces, loaded with vitamins and minerals from the mango, molasses, maple syrup and tomatoes.  If you try it let me know what you think.

Adapted from Oxygen Magazine.

Bistro Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is great served warm but is equally good served cold.  It is a really nice summer pasta salad and is perfect for a picnic lunch or summer potluck and it makes a lot to feed a crowd.

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450g box bowtie pasta

Olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

14oz jar marinated artichoke

14oz jar roasted red peppers

14oz can crushed tomatoes

2 cups baby spinach (you can use regular spinach, just chop it)

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

sal and pepper to taste

a good sprinkling of grated parmesan (probably about 1/4 cup)

Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente.

mince garlic and toss with a little olive oil

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put strain pasta in bowl with the garlic and toss generously with more olive oil

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Chop the roasted peppers and artichokes, into bite size-ish pieces

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Toss that in on the pasta

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Add the tomatoes, at this stage I season with a little salt and pepper and taste to make sure it is how I want it

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Toss in the spinach and some parmesan

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Mix it all together

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Serve topped with a little sprinkle of parmesan and some baguette…and a nice glass of wine.

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Fresh Homemade Salsa

This is a nice fresh salsa, that can be mild to hot depending on how much jalapeño you put in.  My version is mild to be more child friendly, but you can make to to suit your own taste. This is also really economical, you get a lot from a few very affordable ingredients.  It is perfect for summer gatherings when you need a lot.  It is also very quick to put together, it may look like a lot of steps but it isn’t, I was showing everything for this post.

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1 – 28oz can of diced tomatoes

4 medium tomatoes, chopped

3/4 cup chopped red onion

2-3 Tbsp finely chopped jalapeno (or more if you want spicy)

1 tsp garlic powder (or garlic salt)

2 tsp fresh minced garlic

1 small can tomato paste

2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

I blitz the canned tomatoes in the food processor to break them up a little more.

You can omit the food processor  steps if you want it chunkier (I tailored my version of the recipe to suit Evie not wanting onion or jalapeño chunks)

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Chop jalapeño and red onion

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I blitz the jalapeño and onion together too

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Give this a whirl to get it all finely chopped. I do this so the onion and jalapeño gets really incorporated into the tomatoes.  Evie will not want to get a chunk of onion or jalapeño in her mouth, this takes care of that.

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Add to the tomatoes along with minced garlic.

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Add the salt and garlic powder ( I use granulated garlic,I like the flavour in recipes more than powder)

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Finely chop fresh tomatoes (a great way to use up ripening tomatoes from your garden)

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Give all of this a stir and add in tomato paste and stir

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Add in chopped cilantro (this is optional if you dislike cilantro, some people really hate it)

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Stir again

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Taste test to make sure the flavours are good (yup, it is good)

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Just to show you how frugal this recipe is, I got a little over 6 cups of salsa from those few ingredients!

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It keeps well for a few days refrigerated.

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