Smoky Barbecue Black Bean Burgers

Believe it or not, I was an extremely picky eater as a kid. The number of meals I would eat could be counted on one hand, while the number of meals I turned my nose up to could easily fill a small book. My poor food-loving parents, huh? They were always trying new recipes from their many cookbooks and magazines, and I had zero appreciation for how avant garde they actually were. Thankfully, my older brother was an adventurous eater who was able to validate my parents’ efforts to feed us healthily.

My top five least favourite dishes? Tofu pesto (yeah, that was a Moosewood cookbook classic), parathas (Indian sweet potato-stuffed flatbread), bulgur burgers, salmon burgers (the only way I would choke them down was with a thick layer of Cheez Whiz), and anything containing ground meat.

I never liked meat, but it wasn’t until around age 10 that I began to warm up to vegetables. I always loved my carbs, though! I think I must have been on the 80/10/10 diet before it was even a thing, ha!

These veggie burgers are, according to my trusty taste testers, my best yet. They are sturdy, flavourful, and have crispy exteriors, which are my top three veggie burger parameters. The smoky flavour comes from smoked paprika (my secret weapon for endowing that elusive meaty note to vegan cusine) and subtle sweetness from barbecue sauce. And they actually hold together, thanks to the inclusion of both ground walnuts and bread crumbs. I chose to serve them on buns with pickles, lettuce, tomato, and my homemade green goddess sauce that I originally created for my Vegan Meatball Pizza, only I subbed cilantro for the parsley to give it a southwestern flair.

I think you’re going to LOVE these burgers. They’re the perfect way to usher in a new season, and they’re so much fun to eat.

Black bean burgers with green goddess sauce.

Smoky Barbecue Black Bean Burgers

These hearty black bean burgers are spicy, smoky, and a bit sweet. They hold together perfectly and are accompanied by a tasty cilantro green goddess sauce. Enjoy them on buns or crumbled over greens with the green goddess sauce as a dressing! 
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dinner, Entree, Lunch, Main
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Servings: 10 large burgers

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown rice, rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 medium sweet potatos, peeled and diced into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup bread crumbs, preferably homemade (see note)
  • 3 cups cooked black beans (or 1 large can, rinsed and drained)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 3/4 tsp fine sea salt, plus more to taste

For serving:

  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Pickles
  • Green Goddess Sauce, made with cilantro instead of parsley (see note for recipe link)
  • Buns, collard or lettuce leaves, or pitas

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Cook the brown rice: In a small saucepan, combine the brown rice, water, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 40-45 minutes, until all of the water has been absorbed. 
  • Place the diced sweet potato on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle on a pinch of salt and toss to coat. Roast for 40-45 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 F and leave it on to bake the burgers. 
  • Toast the walnuts in a large skillet over medium heat until browned and fragrant. Once cool enough to handle, finely chop and place them in a large bowl along with the breadcrumbs. 
  • Place the black beans into a food processor fitted with the ‘S’ blade. Pulse a few times until broken, but do not over-process. Add the beans to the large bowl. Then add the cooked sweet potato, brown rice, onion, garlic, barbecue sauce, spices, hot sauce, cilantro, and salt. Lightly mash the sweet potato and stir everything well to combine. Taste and add additional salt if desired. 
  • Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the mixture into 10 tennis ball-sized rounds and place on the prepared baking sheets. Use your hands to gently flatten the burgers. Bake until the burgers are crispy on the outside but not burnt, about 35-40 minutes. 
  • Serve on buns, collard or lettuce leaves, or pitas with desired toppings. 

Notes

To make 1 cup of homemade bread crumbs: Cube 5 slices of desired bread (I like whole grain sourdough) into 1-inch cubes and toast in a 350 F oven for 7 minutes. Then place the toasted bread into a food processor fitted with the ‘S’ blade and blend until you have bread crumbs.¬†
Green Goddess Sauce recipe can be found here.

I’ve been feeling discombobulated this week, having just returned to work and a with big term paper due in seven days. I have a lot of negative feelings about university. I’ve never felt that my program is a good fit for me, and as whiny as it sounds, I can’t see a point in anything I’m learning. I still wish that I would have chosen to major in nutrition and dietetics, and I’m definitely not ruling that out. I guess I still have time to figure it out. But the one thing that always brings me joy is writing recipes and sharing them with the world. That’s where my heart is, and that’s what I’ll continue to do as I figure out everything else!

Thanks as always for reading my posts, and I will be back here again on Saturday with my standard weekend beverage post.

Did you make this recipe? Let’s see it! Post a photo on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram with #holisticallie and @holisticallie!

Sweet Potato Nachos with Hemp ‘Cheese’

If you’ve been following this blog since the beginning, it’s probably become clear that I have a thing for orange vegetables (see here, here, here, and here). It probably also comes as no surprise that one of my favourite things in the world is ‘veganizing’ or putting a healthier spin on comfort food.

Today, I combined my two passions into one plant-powerful nacho plate. Behold my mighty Sweet Potato Nachos!

I don’t know what got into me this morning, but boy, I had a precise vision for how I wanted these nachos to turn out, and I am happy to say that I nailed them on my first attempt! You know what they say… When life hands you sweet potatoes, make nachos. Heh heh heh.

So, how does one make these nachos? First, thinly sliced sweet potato is roasted until crispy. These are your ‘chips.’

While the sweet potatoes are baking, you whip together a raw hemp nacho ‘cheese’ sauce and gather the other toppings: thinly sliced cabbage, cilantro, black beans, salsa, avocado, and mango.

Once the sweet potatoes are ready, you transfer them to a serving platter and gussy them up with all your toppings. Fancy, fancy.

Finally, dig in. Utensils are unnecessary, although you might want to keep some napkins nearby. Take it from me. #messyeatersunite ūüėČ

These nachos serve 3-4 as a main dish, and 6-8 as an appetizer. They make an excellent weekend lunch or hors d’oeuvre, and thanks to the beans, sweet potato, avocado, and hemp sauce, they are nutritionally balanced, providing lots of complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fat. Healthy nachos? It doesn’t get much better than that!

If you make this recipe, tag it with #holisticallie and @holisticallie on Instagram!

Healthy Sweet Potato Nachos with Hemp Nacho “Cheese” and all the Fixings

This healthy vegan spin on nachos is the perfect winter comfort food dish! This recipe replaces the typical chips with thinly sliced roasted sweet potato rounds that are dressed with a hemp ‘cheese’ sauce, avocado, black beans, vegetables, and salsa. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American, High Raw, Mexican, Mexican Fusion, Raw, Vegan
Keyword: Dinner, Nachos, Sweet Potato Nachos, Vegan Nachos
Servings: 4
Author: Allison

Ingredients

  • 3 large organic sweet potatoes, unpeeled
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1 cup finely shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 large or 2 small avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 cup salsa of choice
  • 1 cup cilantro, stems removed
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 1 cup finely diced mango (optional)
  • 1 cup hemp nacho ‘cheese’ sauce (recipe follows)

Hemp Nacho ‘Cheese’ Sauce

  • 1/3 cup filtered water
  • 1 cup hemp hearts
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp salsa
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  • Wash and dry the sweet potatoes. Leave peels on. Slice as thinly as possible and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat. 
  • Spread sweet potato in a single layer on the baking sheets. Depending on the size of your pans, you may need to bake them in two batches. 
  • Bake sweet potato for 20-30 minutes, or until crisp and curling up around the edges. Some of them will start resembling chips as they bake. 
  • While the sweet potatoes are baking, prepare the hemp ‘cheese’ sauce: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until very smooth and creamy. Transfer into a container and set aside until ready to use. 
  • Once sweet potato chips are finished baking, transfer them to a large serving platter. Top with cabbage, avocado, cilantro, salsa, black beans, mango (if using) and hemp nacho ‘cheese’ sauce. 
  • Divide among serving plates and enjoy. 

Notes

Hemp nacho ‘cheese’ sauce adapted from Bloom For Life
 

Have a lovely, lively weekend, and I’ll be back soon with another winter comfort food dish involving pasta and tempeh meatballs. Until then, be well and enjoy these nachos!

Mayan Mocha

Since starting Holistic Allie, I have wanted to do a weekly beverage recipe + a roundup of interesting media from around the web for you to enjoy during your weekend downtime. Let me know what you think and if you would like to see this style continue- I am thinking of making these posts a regular Saturday occurrence if you are interested! 

I am a beverage aficionado. You can often find me sipping a kombucha, coffee, green drink, or one of my homemade creations at any given hour. What can I say? Girls gotta drink! 

My favourite thing to do on lazy weekend mornings is to prepare a special warm drink for myself (something more remarkable than my weekday French press coffee) and enjoy it on the window seat while gazing out of the window and journaling.¬† Continue reading “Mayan Mocha”

Double Chocolate Protein Bars

Why buy protein bars when it takes ten minutes to whip up a batch in your own kitchen? These protein bars are packed with protein (obviously), healthy fat, complex carbs, and are lightly sweetened with pure maple syrup! The icing on the cake, so to speak, is the raw chocolate glaze. Made with just four ingredients (cacao butter, raw cacao, maple syrup, and almond milk), it propels these protein bars into “I can’t ever go back to store-bought” territory.¬†

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Well, we made it to Friday. If you have a Monday to Friday job, happy weekend! If, like me, you still find yourself working retail on weekends, I feel ya! Hopefully you can make the most of whatever time you have off over the next couple of days.

I don’t know anyone who actually¬†craves¬†store-bought protein bars. Sure, I will eat one in a pinch (and given that I work in a health food store, there is never any shortage of options for when one is feeling rather peckish). However, I have never been able to find one that suits my taste and quality preferences. Most of them contain at least a handful of ingredients that I am not keen on putting into my body, and I would rather keep things as healthy and natural as possible. Add to that the fact that I am trying to reduce my plastic footprint, and it’s easy to see why homemade is the way to go.

This protein bar recipe is the product of a desperate attempt to use up some protein powder that had almost reached its best before date. It’s entirely a first world problem, true, but I hate to waste food, and I couldn’t possibly stomach more protein smoothie bowls.

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These bars make the PERFECT afternoon snack when you’re low on energy and need a pick-me-up to get you through the afternoon. They are also phenomenal as a post-workout snack to kickstart muscle recovery. However and whenever you choose to enjoy them, I hope that they become your new favourite snack!

If you make this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment below, and tag me on Instagram with @holisticallie and #holisticallie!

Double Chocolate Protein Bars 

Servings: 10
Cuisine: Vegan
Time: 15 minutes + 30 minutes chill time

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chocolate protein powder of choice (I used Botanica brand)
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 cup nut or seed butter of choice (peanut, almond, cashew, sunflower, tahini all work)
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk

Raw Chocolate Topping

  • 1/4 cup cacao butter
  • 2.5 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp non-dairy milk

Instructions:

  1. Combine protein powder, oat flour, salt, maple syrup, and nut butter in a large mixing bowl. Stir until dough begins to form. Gradually add non-dairy milk until mixture reaches a cookie dough consistency.
  2. Line a 8×8 square baking pan with parchment paper. Press dough evenly into pan and flatten as much as possible. You want the dough to be packed as tightly as possible so that the bars do not fall apart.
  3. Prepare the raw chocolate. Place cacao butter in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of almost boiling water. Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in remaining raw chocolate ingredients. Pour over protein bar dough.
  4. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes or until chocolate has hardened.
  5. Slice into 10 even rectangles and store in the refrigerator until ready to consume.

 

 

Peanut Butter Cup Muffins

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Hi, friends! I feel as though it’s been a minute since I’ve posted here. When I started this blog, I thought that I would have time to post every. single. day. I have since been humbled by the amount of time and energy that goes into creating, testing, and photographing recipes while also working a full time job and marathon training! I’m not complaining or making excuses, just saying that I have a newfound appreciation for all those who juggle many life things at once!

Continue reading “Peanut Butter Cup Muffins”

Fresh Town Smoothie with Hidden Greens + Plastic-Free July

This smoothie will knock your socks off and wake you right up on a hot summer morning! Fresh mint and kale are hidden beneath a layer of chocolate, banana, and Medjool dates, creating a refreshing and sweet smoothie packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants!

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Some things were made for each other. Peanut butter and jam. Cam and Mitch. (Veggie) Burgers and (sweet potato) fries. Apple and cheese. A kiss and a squeeze. To that list, I will happily add chocolate and mint. Ever since I was a young one and discovered the magic that is the Girl Guides chocolate mint cookies, I have been hooked. However, my preference now is fresh mint over mint flavouring and raw cacao powder over processed chocolate. Cheers to maturing taste buds, lol!

Continue reading “Fresh Town Smoothie with Hidden Greens + Plastic-Free July”

Tropi-Kale Mojito Smoothie Bowls

This tropical-inspired green smoothie bowl is bursting with the sweet summer flavours of mango and coconut, plus it’s packed with calcium, iron, folate, vitamin K1, vitamin A, and vitamin C thanks to the generous amount of kale blended in. The mojito aspect comes from the fresh mint. Mint is a carminative herb, meaning that it soothes the digestive tract and prevents gas and bloating. It also has cooling qualities, making this smoothie bowl the perfect heat wave meal. I added protein powder to my bowl to turn it into more of a meal, but you can certainly omit it if you are not a fan. You might want to add some avocado or nut butter instead.¬†

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Continue reading “Tropi-Kale Mojito Smoothie Bowls”

Ravishing Rainbow Veggie Wraps (Vegan)

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Hello and happy long weekend to my Canadian friends! I couldn’t be happier to have three full days away from work: all the more time to create new recipes and fit in the first couple runs of my marathon training plan.

I will eat almost any combination of foods wrapped up in a soft, floury tortilla. It’s the ultimate comfort food and oh so versatile. I have been known to eat some version of this wrap recipe several days in a row; I just never tire of it! There are so many flavours and textures at play here, and I have a feeling you are going to love it. Better yet, this recipe doesn’t require you to turn on the oven once. It’s basically the perfect summer meal! I’m counting on it to fuel me through this long, hot summer of marathon training.
Continue reading “Ravishing Rainbow Veggie Wraps (Vegan)”

Pan-Fried Maple-Tamari-Sriracha Tofu

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This tofu is guaranteed to turn any tofu hater into a lover! Nobody can resist the sweet, salty, and mildly spicy flavour of this dish. It is also incredibly versatile, and works well as a filling in wraps, a topping for bowls, and on its own as a tasty, protein-rich snack!

VEGAN
Gluten-Free

Servings: 4
Time: 30 minutes marinating + 15 minutes cooking

3 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp sriracha (I like Simply Natural brand organic sriracha)
1 block (350 g) extra firm organic tofu, diced into 1-inch cubes
1 tbsp virgin coconut oil

Directions: 

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together tamari, maple syrup, and sriracha.
  2. Add tofu and toss to combine.
  3. Allow tofu to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours, if possible.
  4. In a large skillet (preferably cast iron), heat coconut oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the tofu.
  5. Cook tofu for about five minutes, then carefully flip and cook for five minutes on the other side.
  6. Continue cooking the tofu until most of the marinade has caramelized and the tofu itself is crispy.
  7. Remove from heat and enjoy in wraps, on bowls, or as part of a plate with roasted sweet potato, greens, and sauce. The sky really is the limit with this tofu.

 

Mystic Bowls with Beet Almond Hummus and Cashew Carrot Harissa Sauce

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One of the most delicious restaurant meals that I have ever eaten was the Mystic Bowl at Buddha-Full in North Vancouver. (I wrote about this in my previous post.) I knew that I would need to re-create the recipe as soon as I returned home to Ottawa so as not to suffer from withdrawal. It was that good.

So what, you ask, is so special about the Mystic Bowl? Is it the earthy beet almond hummus? The slightly spicy, slightly sweet cashew carrot harissa sauce? The crunchy cabbage slaw or the fragrant brown rice? Or is it the synergy of all those flavours and textures, arranged in a bowl, that is a feast for both the eyes and the palette? It’s hard to put a finger on it, but I will tell you that there is a special little somethin’ somethin’ about these bowls.¬† Continue reading “Mystic Bowls with Beet Almond Hummus and Cashew Carrot Harissa Sauce”

Chocolate Banana Protein Pancakes

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Hello and welcome to my blog!! I have been reading different food/health/wellness blogs for years now and figured that I’d give it a try myself. It’s going to be a work in progress for the next several months but I don’t think there is ever a moment where one is 100 percent ready to try something new. I’m jumping in and learning as I go. Any feedback is welcome!

Today’s recipe is one that, if you are anything like me, you will find yourself making over and over again! I wanted my first recipe to be a memorable one, and I think that these fit the bill quite well. Chocolate banana protein pancakes for the win, guys.¬† Continue reading “Chocolate Banana Protein Pancakes”