Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Recipe Favs! A List of My Favorite Recipes

Hello healthy ones! How's it going? Feeling great and living the healthy life I hope! :) As part of my continued effort to live a healthy life, I've been making an effort to eliminate processed foods ( i.e - any food that comes out of a box) out of my diet. While I'm not totally process food free yet, I've made a great strides! As a result, I've been one cooking little woman over here! Lol! It's funny to me because I was never the type who liked to cook, I avoided it while living at home because ironically I have a mother who has always loved to cook, and when I got out on my own, I made my cooking as easy as possible - 30 minutes or under, nothing fancy. But lately I've been cooking, baking, and trying new recipe after new recipe! I've discovered that I actually LOVE cooking! It's relaxing yet educational and the rewards are delicious!

As some of you may know, I'm a vegetarian, it's been around 14 months for me at this point and I love it! I honestly don't think I'll ever return back to eating meat. I mention this because I think me becoming a vegetarian is what got me into cooking. It gets kind of boring eating salad and soups all the time, and nutritionally, it's just not balanced. As an ovo-lacto vegetarian, eggs and dairy aren't cut out of my diet, so I could possibly eat a lot of things that aren't good for me, but the whole reason I became a vegetarian is to eat healthier, so eating a lot of junk and/or processed vegetarian food wasn't an option - this is when I started searching for recipes and seeing how I could add some life to my vegetarian diet. Well, 14 months later and I think I've officially got the hang of it! I'm loving all the different meals I've discovered! So I thought I would share. While all of the recipes I'm about to share with you are meat free that doesn't take away from their taste! These recipes are delicious! So I urge you, whether vegetarian or not, to give them a try!

January 2013 Recipe Favs

  1. Vegetarian Black Bean Burger
    Recipe from

    Vegetarian Black Bean Burger w/ Cornmeal

    When I first became a vegetarian, I ate a lot of name brand vegetarian burgers like (i.e - BOCA, Morningstar Farms, ... etc.). In my attempt to eliminate process foods I came across a couple of vegetarian bean burger recipes and this has to be my favorite! I was never a black bean fan, but these burgers are delicious and super simple to make! They've definitely become a staple in my kitchen! I find that by making my own veggie burgers, I'm not only keeping it healthier, but it saves me a lot of money as well! Can't beat that! Check this recipe out!



    Place beans in food processor; process until fairly smooth. Add flour, cornmeal, salsa, cumin, garlic powder and salt. Process until well combined. Spoon mixture into 6 balls on a large plate and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours before cooking. Heat barbecue grill or ridged grill pan over medium heat. Coat grill or pan lightly with oil. Form each ball into a 4-inch patty about 1/2-inch thick. Place the patties on the grill or in pan and cook until browned and heated through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Serve your black bean cornmeal patties on hamburger buns with your favorite toppings.

    Makes 6 servings

    FIT GIRL TIP: I make large batches of the burgers at one time to freeze and take out when ready. Saves time! All you have to do is thaw out the burger before cooking and you're set!

  1. Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Recipe from
    Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THESE LITTLE COOKIES! My boss brought these to work one day and I fell in love! It's through this recipe that I actually discovered Catherine McCord and - if you're looking for some great, healthy recipes (vegetarian or not), I definitely recommend checking her site out! Just pop 1 or 2 of these cookies in your mouth for a great dessert or snack! Another Fit Girl staple! And one great thing about them is they stay in the refrigerator, so you don't have to worry about them getting too stiff or stale like you would with other cookies that sit out on the counter!



    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash bananas in a bowl, and mix in the remaining ingredients. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes. Using a mini ice cream scoop or tablespoon, place the batter onto a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 25 Minutes. Cool and serve.

    To Freeze: Allow cookies to cool after baking then place in a Ziploc bag, label and freeze for up to 3 months.

    Makes 30 servings (depending on how big you make the cookies you may not get this many)

  2. Banana Ice Cream
    Recipe from
    Clean and
    Banana "Ice Cream"

    Speaking of bananas... I just discovered this recipe and if you love bananas as much as I do you've definitely gotta' try this one! It's super yummy! 



    Pop bananas into a blender or food processor and blend until the bananas have a smooth and creamy consistency (just like ice-cream). Depending on how powerful your blender or processor is, your bananas may clunk around a bit at the beginning but  just give them a minute. Once they start to break down they turn into this lovely, creamy treat.

    If you want, you can skip the milk addition all together, but I like to add a little in.  Start with about a quarter cup and then blend.  If you want it a little thinner add a little more milk, if not - skip it!
    Top with whatever you’ve got on hand or nothing at all and enjoy!

    Makes 2 servings

    FIT GIRL TIP: Add a little protein powder to your banana/milk mixture when blending, that way you can counteract the carbs from the bananas with protein and keep your glucose levels down (which when high can turn into fat). Depending on how much powder you add it, this shouldn't really change the taste that much, but if you use a vanilla protein powder (like I do) it may actually give it an even sweeter, yummier taste! Sweet!!!

  3. Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes"
    An original recipe
    Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes"

    If you Google "cauliflower mashed potatoes" you will find a ton of recipes out there, so I'm not the first and won't be the last to come up with a variation of this dish, but this is my own original recipe that I created using tips I found from various other recipes. Now if you're not a cauliflower fan, this probably won't be for you because while it's not completely potato free, there's more cauliflower than potato and you definitely get that strong taste of cauliflower, but it tastes great in my opinion as well as others I've had try it. It's a super healthy, tasty side to go with any meal!



    Cut up russet potato in chunks. Steam or boil, along with cauliflower florets until soft. Drain and put into baking casserole dish/pan. Mash well and stir in the sour cream, cream cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. 

    Makes 8 servings, 1/2 cup each

  4. Butter Bean Burger
    Recipe from

    Butter Bean Burger
    Another awesome bean burger for ya'! I love butter beans so when I found this recipe I knew that I had to try it! It's a small burger that packs a mean punch! If you like spicy, you'll like this! 



    In a medium bowl, mash butter beans. Mix in onion, jalapeno pepper, crushed crackers, egg, cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Divide into 4 equal parts, and shape into patties.

    Fry patties in a large skillet over medium-high heat, until golden, about 5 minutes on each side. 

    Makes 4 servings

    *I don't eat regular eggs so this is what I use but feel free to just use 1 egg if you don't like Egg Beaters/egg substitutes.

  5. Vegetarian Vegetable Soup
    Recipe from Mandula's
    Indian Vegetarian Vegetable Soup
    Saving the best for last! I just made this vegetable soup and I LOVED IT! It's Indian Vegetarian Vegetable Soup and it's delicious! If you're interested in eating meat free you should definitely check out Mandula's The site is full of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free recipes that carry out the authenticity of Indian vegetarian cooking. This recipe tastes great and was super simple to make! Check it out!



    Heat the oil in a pot over medium high heat Once oil is hot, add the cumin, potatoes, carrots, bay leaf, cloves, ans salt, stirring occasionally, for about 2-3 minutes Add corn, cabbage, celery, tomato, and 3 cups of water, after it comes to boil turn down the heat to low medium Cover and let it cook for 25-30 mins until veggies are tender Add the pepper and lemon juice, taste and season with additional salt and pepper to taste. 

    Makes 4 servings

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