Grillable Tofu Burgers

Seasoned with a good amount of cumin, cayenne and mustard, these are hearty, filling, easy to make, dump-everything-in-the-food processor grillable tofu burgers.

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Wayne calls this the “1996 Veggie Burger.” It’s basically an old-school hippie burger. I love them for a few reasons. First, they’re grill-able. Second, they’re made from ingredients I understand – organic tofu, seeds, nuts, eggs, spices, and breadcrumbs. And third, they’re endlessly adaptable by switching up the spices & your burger toppings.
A Grillable Tofu Burger Recipe

The Recipe

On the cooking front, I’ve been cleaning out some drawers. Primarily going through old magazine clippings (which is part of the reason I’ve been featuring more magazine inspired recipes than usual). I’ve been finding lots of gems, and these tofu burgers jumped out at me. I’ve adapted them from a reader contributed recipe that ran in the October 2004 issue of Sunset Magazine. The recipe was sent to Sunset by Jeremy Wolf of San Francisco, and I enjoyed them so much! They were impossibly easy to make, relying on the “throw everything in the food processor” technique, and called for a quirky mix of ingredients ranging from tofu, seeds, and nuts, to mustard, cumin, and mushrooms. In the years since, I’ve done a lot of variations, and I’ll talk through a few of them below.

I will say, I suspect you’ll be tempted to tweak the seasonings, and you should! But here’s my advice. Don’t skimp on the cumin or mustard, you need some assertive flavors to kick in – keep in mind you’re dealing with ground tofu and eggs as a burger base. Whatever you do think bold!

Ingredients in Food Processor for Tofu Burgers

Tofu Burgers – How To Cook Them

One of the great things about these is you can cook them a number of ways. You can use a skillet, you can grill them, or you can bake them. The main thing you need to do is blend the mixture to a smooth-ish consistency. Then firmly shape and press the mixture into firm patties. I call for the firmest tofu you can find (extra-firm), but each tofu brand has a different quantity of water in it. If your mixture is too wet, simply blend in more breadcrumbs 1/4 cup at a time, and go from there. The mixture also firms up as it sits, so keep that in mind. You can let it rest for 10 minutes or so before shaping if you have the time.
A Grillable Tofu Burger Recipe

Tofu Burger Variations

A number of people have attempted to make these without the egg. I haven’t tested that version yet, but here’s are a few notes from the comments. From Lisa,”For the vegan, I reserved part of the batch before adding eggs, and put in a tablespoon of almond butter as a binder, plus a little extra breadcrumbs.” Jacqui says,”…although I was out of eggs, so I used 2 T of chia seeds mixed with 6 T of water as a replacement. Worked great!”

For a gluten-free option Lisa commented with this brilliance, “I make something similar to these and use masa harina instead of breadcrumbs for a gluten-free option… it definitely gives it a “southwestern” twist, and is SO delicious.”

Cooking Tips

If you’re nervous about the patties falling through grill grates, Judith says,”…my husband was in charge of the grill, started out on aluminum foil, we thought they might fall through the grates, he ended up putting them right on the grates (they firmed up while cooking on the foil for a bit) and they were wonderful!”

Enjoy!!

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Caramelized Brussels Sprouts and Apples with Tofu

A Brussels sprout recipe for people who think they might not like them. Shredded Brussels sprout ribbons, apples, garlic, pine nuts, and tofu in a skillet with a hint of maple syrup.

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I bought a three-foot stretch of Brussels sprouts the other morning at the farmers’ market. For those of you who’ve never encountered the spectacle of Brussels sprouts still on the stalk, it is something to behold. A thick, stick-straight center stalk is punctuated by tight, green Brussels sprout pom-poms. It looks fantastically prehistoric. And while it doesn’t fit very nicely in my market basket, once I get it home the sprouts will keep nicely this way – seemingly longer than off the stalk.
Brussels Sprouts on Stalk
I buy sprouts on the stalk whenever I can, and typically get three or four sprout-centric meals out of each, breaking off the buds as needed. In this case I combined shredded Brussels sprout ribbons, apples, garlic, pine nuts, (and tofu if you like) in a skillet with a hint of maple syrup.
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts and Apples with Tofu
I know not all are Brussels sprout fans, but based on some of the emails you’ve passed along to me, this golden-crusted Brussels sprout recipe seems to be a well-received gateway recipe for people who thought they didn’t like Brussels sprouts, but really do. You could start there, and then make the jump to this recipe if you’re at all apprehensive. Or, I highlight a few other ideas down below….

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Fresh Mint Chip Frozen Yogurt

A luscious fresh mint chip frozen yogurt recipe from the Sprouted Kitchen cookbook.

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This mint chip frozen yogurt recipe from the Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook is brilliant. The recipe combines two parts Greek yogurt with one part cream to make a luscious mint-blasted treat. I shared this gem of a recipe back in 2012 and noticed a lot of you were still searching for it this summer. I thought I’d update the post today, give you a peek, and include some updated links to Sprouted Kitchen. 

Mint Frozen Yogurt Recipe
First off, the frozen yogurt is a breeze to make. Sara uses fresh mint, and then boosts it with a bit of mint extract. Brown rice syrup is used as the sweetener – rich and malty in flavor, with much less edge than refined sugar. If you don’t have access to brown rice syrup, you can swap in maple syrup (I’d use a scant 1/2 cup as a starting point). My one tip when it comes to homemade ice cream or frozen yogurt? Churn to order. Few things are better.
Mint Frozen Yogurt Recipe
Fresh mint above, and pictured steeping in cream below. 
Mint Frozen Yogurt Recipe

A Few Frozen Yogurt Tips

  • If you’re not churning to order, allow to thaw for a few minutes prior to scooping.
  • Keep in mind this is yogurt base, so it’s quite a bit tangier than frozen treats make exclusively with cream, milk, or alternative milks. If you like things a bit sweet taste mid-way though churning, and add a bit more brown rice syrup or maple syrup to taste.

Mint Frozen Yogurt Recipe

A Few Variations

  • Add a bit of lemon verbena and/or basil to the mint steeping for added flavor dimension and scent.
  • Churn in some ripe strawberries in the final moments for a berry version.
  • Churn in some torn peach wedges.

Mint Frozen Yogurt Recipe

The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook

A few shots of the book itself. 🙂 The frozen yogurt is one thing, but I have about twenty other recipes earmarked as well. For example, have a look at this beautiful capellini. Or the roasted plum tartines down below. The book is full of inspired, beautifully photographed, whole food recipes – and I suspect you’re all going to love it.

Mint Frozen Yogurt Recipe

I was lucky to see an early, early version of the book (before it was bound and printed), and wrote a little quote for the back cover. Is it weird to share it here? “The minute I landed on the Sprouted Kitchen website, years ago, I knew I’d stumbled on a kindred spirit. Everything I loved about the site extends itself beautifully into this cookbook – the vibrant focus on whole foods, the enticing photography, the inspired ingredient combinations, and Sara’s approachable voice. I imagine this book being a welcome addition to many kitchens.” 

Keep in touch with Sprouted Kitchen

You can follow Sprouted Kitchen on Instagram, and enjoy their brilliant new cooking club (Sprouted Kitchen Cooking Club)! The Instagram for SKCC is here.

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Egg Salad Sandwich

The perfect egg salad sandwich is all about the little tweaks and a smart ratio of eggs to other ingredients. This is my favorite. Served on garlic-rubbed toasted bread with chopped celery, onion, and whole-grain mustard.

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I have strong opinions about egg salad sandwiches. Usually I take a pass. Like, if I see one on a menu, or at a deli, I choose another sandwich. Egg salad tends to be so gloppy, or too much mayo, soggy bread (yuck), or the trifecta of all three. But it doesn’t have to be this way! When I make egg salad sandwiches at home it’s heart emojis all around. I like to use well-toasted bread rubbed with garlic. The egg mixture I make isn’t much of a departure from the classic, but the devil is in the details and ratios. There’s crunch from chopped celery and onions, a dollop of wholegrain mustard, and just the right amount of yogurt in place of mayo.The Perfect Egg Salad Sandwich

A Couple Egg Salad Tricks

There are some tricks I like to deploy when constructing an egg salad sandwich. The eggs are a soft component, so I like to introduce crunch and structure wherever possible, for contrast. So, in this recipe you have crunch celery and onions. Good quality, extra toasty slices of bread bring more crunch and structure. And I like to add a few sturdy, fresh lettuce leaves between thread and the egg salad to keep the bread from going soft.

Invest in Good Eggs

You want to use really great eggs if you’re making egg salad. The ones where the yolks are rich and bright yellow. Eggs from pastured hens. Peeling really fresh eggs can be challenging, so I tend to use good eggs, but the ones that have been in my refrigerator longest are the ones to use here. For easy peeling.The Perfect Egg Salad Sandwich

Getting the Eggs Cooked Just Right

I’ve realized that 90% of the challenge here is properly boiling the egg. You need to boil them so the centers set yet stay moist. You also need to avoid the dreaded grey ring that surrounds the yolk in many hard boiled eggs. I use a strict technique that works flawlessly for me every time. Basically, you need to avoid over-cooking. To do that you simply move the eggs into a bowl of icy water after removing them from the water they were boiled in.
The Perfect Egg Salad Sandwich

Egg Salad Sandwich Variations

Once you get your sandwich the way you like it, it’s fun to play around with variations. Here are a few faves.

Egg Salad with Broiled Gruyere: Broil some thinly sliced gruyere cheese onto your toast, top with the egg salad mixture, sprinkle with fried shallots, and serve open-faced. Inspired by a version I would eat on occasion at Il Cane Rosso in San Francisco.

Curried Egg  Salad Sandwich: This is so good!  I think of it as a wintery version where you add curry powder, chopped apple, toasted pecans, and onion.

Chickpea Salad Sandwich: You can use the same general idea for a vegan version. Pulse a couple of cups of cooked chickpeas in a food processor and proceed with the recipe, adding more yogurt if needed to bring the ingredients together.

More Ideas and Tips from You

There are so many great ideas from you down in the comments. I wanted to highlight a few here!

Lirion says, “Don’t freak out, but my egg salad uses eggs and a mango relish. Yup, that’s it. After assembling and before adding the second piece of bread, a shot of fresh cracked pepper and all of 5 grains of salt.

I love a secret ingredient, and Quinn says, “I keep my egg salad ingredients to a minimum, eggs, shallots, chopped pickle, mustard, a lil mayo, and salt and pepper. oh, and I add Old Bay too.”

Or listen to this variation from Shawn! “I just made some delicious Japanese flavored egg salad with homemade wasabi mayo. For the mayo I used two egg yolks, 500 mL of olive oil, and two tsp of rice wine vinegar. After the yolk had accepted all of the oil I added fresh dill, lemon juice, salt & pepper, and a sizable squirt of wasabi paste. For those of you who like a little crunch I suggest chopped water chestnuts drained and briefly pan fried. Eat it on bread as dark as pumpernickel or as white as wonder; it’s all about the mayonnaise.” Genius!

Kate lends some technical insight, “I’ve found the best tool for mashing up eggs for egg salad is a grid-style potato masher. Those square holes make the perfect sized bits of egg white. More consistent, yet chunkier than the results you get with a fork. “

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Golden-crusted Sesame Seeded Tofu

In the April 1998 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine there was a recipe for Sesame Asparagus and Tofu. I ripped it out, and cooked it a hundred times in the twenty years since.

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In the April 1998 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine there was a recipe for Sesame Asparagus and Tofu. I ripped it out, cooked it a hundred times in the twenty years since, and still have the clipping. My technique has evolved a bit, and I like to use the seeded tofu component on (and in) all sort of things – grain bowls, wraps, or to top a plate of grilled vegetables. But, it’s also perfect paired simply with boiled (or grilled!) asparagus or broccoli, or served over blanched green beans, as pictured here. A smear of favorite chile oil, or a shower of sliced scallions seals the deal.

Golden-crusted Sesame Seeded Tofu

A couple of tips! Be sure to use extra-firm tofu. Also, play around a bit. I call for sesame seeds here, but like to add hemp seeds to the mix on occasion as well.

Golden-crusted Sesame Seeded Tofu

Golden-crusted Sesame Seeded Tofu

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Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

A delicious, simple vegetarian split pea soup made from an impossibly short list of ingredients. Seriously, just five!

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Many of you were enthusiastic about the lentil soup recipe I posted a few weeks back. Today’s split pea soup recipe is similar in spirit. It’s a delicious, healthy, textured soup made from an impossibly short list of ingredients. Seriously, just five! No ham hocks in this version, simply green split peas and onions cooked until tender, partially pureed, seasoned and flared out with toppings.
A Really Great Vegetarian Split Pea Soup
Like many lentil soups, this one delivers many of the same nutritional benefits – a good amount of vegetable protein and plenty of staying power. It is hearty and filling, and even better reheated later in the day. You can find dried split green peas in many natural foods stores, I picked these up in the bin section at Whole Foods Market.
A Really Great Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup: Finishing Touches

I like to finish each bowl with a generous drizzle of golden olive oil, a few flecks of lemon zest, and a dusting of smoked paprika to give the soup some smoky depth. If you have scallions or toasted nuts on hand (pictured), great! Toss some on as well.

Hope you enjoy the soup, and for those of you who have never tried split peas, this might be the time to give them a go! 

Variations

A number of you had great suggestions for tweaks and variations in the comments. Here are a couple that stood out.

Renae took the soup in a more herb-forward direction. “This soup is divine. I added fennel and sage to give it a warmer texture. Used almond milk to thin it out while blending.”

Jesper noted, “Great looking soup. Instead of using cubed bouillon, I use the water left over from cooking chick peas. Usually I cook them with an onion, a garlic clove or two, black pepper corns and a bay leaf. The result is a lightly flavored vegetable stock, and it freezes well, too.”

And if you’re looking for more lentil or pulse based soups, I really love this Coconut Red Lentil Soup, and this Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter

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Deviled Eggs

A beautiful and delicious deviled eggs made with an herb-flecked filling and topped with toasted almonds.

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This is a recipe for beautiful deviled eggs, but before we get to it, I’ll ask that you let me tell you about the last couple of days first. I know the eggs are distracting, I mean, look at them! If I could give you one right through the screen, I would.

Deviled Eggs Recipe

These deviled eggs were part of a Saturday night dinner spread – leftover from Friday’s lunch. They made the trip north with me, to visit friends in Bolinas. We had a tasty dinner of mostly leftovers and the eggs were a hit! Let’s talk about what makes them great. The main thing is they’re classic-inspired, simple to make, and updated at the same time.

A box with a platter of deviled eggs, flowers, and salad greens.

Above is my leftover box packed for Bolinas – soup, eggs, Josey Baker Bread, various toppings and condiments.

How to Make Deviled Eggs

The concept is straight-forward, but there are a couple of pitfalls to avoid. The main thing, boil your eggs properly. This is so you don’t ended up with dreaded grey yolks. An ice bath after boiling is your friend here. Cool, peel, halve, make a beautiful filling from the yolks, and you’re on the home stretch.

The Best Filling

It’s all about getting the flavor and texture right here, and I use a little trick. The filling is mixed, mashed, and fluffed into a light herb-flecked dollop. Toasted almonds add the crunch, chive flowers bring the pretty. They’re not technically deviled, as there is no paprika or mustard in this version, but you can always tweak the filling to your liking with a few pinches of either.

Deviled Eggs Recipe

Tasty Variations!

A number of you have made these over the years, and have noted variations and suggestions that I wanted to highlight.

Allyson:  “I just made these for Easter. Coincidently, it was the first time I’ve ever made, or actually eaten, deviled eggs. They were fantastic. I used pistachios instead of almonds, and couldn’t find chervil or dill seed, but they were so much better than I had imagined. My fiance, who loves deviled eggs, declared them the best he’s ever eaten.”

Berndy said, “I make my deviled eggs with pickled eggs for a more interesting taste.” Love this idea, and think they’d be great using these pickled turmeric eggs!

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Lively Up Yourself Lentil Soup

This quick lentil soup recipe delivers layer after layer of flavor. The tang of the tomatoes plays off the earthiness of the lentils, and the fragrant bolt of saffron yogurt brightens each bowl.

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I propose we kick off the year with one of my very favorite soup recipes from last. I eat lentil soup multiple times a week, and come back to this lentil soup often for a few reasons. It’s hearty yet healthy – which in my mind translates to a soup that is filling, tasty, adaptable, and also delivers plenty of good stuff to my body. It’s also super tasty.

Lentil Soup Recipe

One and Done

I love a good one bowl meal. And this fits the bill. It gives me energy without weighing me down, and delivers layer after layer of flavor. The tang of the tomatoes plays off the earthiness of the lentils, and the fragrant bolt of saffron yogurt is the closer – brightening each bowl. Delicious.

Nutritional Punch

A few notes on why I like this soup nutritionally. In addition to a nice amount of vegetable based protein in this soup (from the lentils), the recipe also incorporates a touch of dairy, vitamin-rich greens and tomatoes, and good fats. If I have a ripe avocado on hand I’ll slice 1/4 of it into a small dice and sprinkle that across the top as well. The avocados have been so sad around here lately that I mostly skip them. With a bit of whole grain toast (or croutons) that have been rubbed with garlic, the whole thing comes together. Or serve over some good brown rice. 

Lentil Soup Variations

Please feel free to think of this soup in broad strokes. There are dozens of ways I make subtle changes to this recipe depending on what I have on hand. I’ve included a list of variations at the base of the recipe itself. A bunch of you have cooked this and left great comments with ideas you’ve tried as well.

Your Tweaks

AFG said, “I made a pot of this lentil soup last night and it is delicious! I added copious amounts of fresh ground black pepper and some crushed red chili flakes, and also allowed it to barely simmer for an hour on the stove top bringing all the flavors together. It was outstanding and a big hit with my dining companions!”

Clover seconds the choice to opt for fire-roasted tomatoes. “Yum! Made it for dinner last night. I second the motion on using the fire-roasted tomatoes. Instead of saffron, I tried the smoked paprika and the whole fire-roasted/smoky thing worked great.”

R.A. Porter suggests, “swapping out some of the water with a nice dark beer and making a sumac yogurt.”

There are a number of other lentil soups hiding in the archives. I love this Coconut Red Lentil Soup with next-level devotion, it’s just a quite a bit more decadent than this version, so I rotate between them. This Green Lentil Soup with Curried Brown Butter is another long-time favorite. Or, check out this list with a mix of options – Nine Great Lentil Soups to Choose From.

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Green Falafel Bowl

The star of this show is the golden-crusted, green spinach falafel. Lemon-flecked, made with chickpeas, you see them tucked into this rainbow assortment of hummus, pita, kale, cucumber, and carrots.

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No surprise, the cornerstone of this recipe is little balls of spinach-flecked falafel. If you look at the photo, you’ll see the pan-seared patties hanging out in the 5 o’clock position. They’re crusted, golden, browned on the outside, tender and lemon-punctuated on the inside. They’re also packed with good-for-you greens and chickpeas. I make them in big batches, freeze them, and eat them (allll the time) as snacks, or in bowls like these.

Spinach flecked falafel in a bowl with sides.

Falafel at the Center

If you have the falafel, you can pull together a pretty good snack or meal. It could be something along the lines of what you see here, or something different based on what you have on hand. I had some hummus in the fridge (a red beet version of this hummus), some kale, carrots, and cucumber that needed to be used, and some pita. Also, some herb stragglers. The pita and carrots went into the oven, I cooked the falafel in a skillet, and chopped up the rest. Let’s say you didn’t have any of that, but you did have some romaine, yogurt, and a garlic clove. You could do falafel lettuce wraps instead, smashing the garlic into a paste and adding it to the yogurt along with a bit of salt. Use that as your sauce. The name of the game here is adaptability.

Green Falafel Bowl

Cooking Methods

Once you’ve formed the falafel you have a range of cooking options. If you smush them a bit, and pan-fry them in a bit of oil, you’ll get the best golden crust. Sometimes I bake them (450°F), also pretty-strong contender. I’ve even tested them in an Air Fryer, and they’re one of just a handful of things to exceed my expectations in it (7 minutes at 390°F, shake the basket, and do another 7 minutes).

A Vegan Version

I’ll note this in the recipe headnotes below as well. To make the falafel vegan, you can use flax “egg” (5 T. water + 2 T. ground flax seeds whisked together), and skip the cheese.

Green Falafel Bowl

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