Homemade Veggie Burger with Tahini Mayonnaise

1/2 cup bulgar
1/4 tsp salt
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
1 egg
1 large carrot, grated
2 tbsp tahini
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp olive oil
6 leaves hearts of romaine
1 large beefsteak tomato, sliced
6 whole wheat English muffins, toasted

tahini mayonnaise:
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp tahini
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, mix bulgur with salt and 1 cup boiling water. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit until bulgur is tender (but still slightly chewy), about 30 minutes. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve, pressing to remove liquid. Place beans in a medium bowl and mash with a potato masher until a coarse paste forms. Add breadcrumbs, scallions, egg, carrot, cayenne, tahini, and bulgur. Season with salt and pepper, and mix to combine. Form mixture into 6 patties, each about 1 inch thick. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat. Cook patties until browned and firm, 5 to 8 minutes per side. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, and tahini. Season with salt and pepper. Serve burgers on English muffins with tomato, lettuce, and tahini mayonnaise.

Makes 6 servings.

Calories 404
Fat 20g
Sodium 711mg
Carbs 46g
Fiber 9.5g
Protein 12.5g

Amazing! Vegetable Lasagna

**I have never before made lasagna from scratch. This took a lot of time (about 30 minutes prep and an hour to cook) but it was completely worth it! Tasted every bit as good as any store or restaurant lasagna I've ever had!!**

6 pieces whole wheat lasagna pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
3/4 cup zucchini, sliced and cut in fourths (1 small zucchini)
1/2 cup carrot, sliced thin
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, sliced thin and chopped
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup red cooking wine
2 cups tomato basil pasta sauce
2 tbsp commercial pesto
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Boil lasagna noodles for about 2 minutes less than package directions indicate. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain well and cut in half. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook garlic about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, zucchini, carrot, bell pepper, red onion, and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add wine and cook another 3 minutes or until wine has evaporated. Add pasta sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 10 minutes. In a medium bowl combine ricotta, pesto, and Parmesan. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread 3/4 cup veggie sauce across the bottom of the dish. Arrange 4 noodle halves over sauce. Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture and cover with 1 cup tomato mixture. Repeat layers twice and end with the remaining veggie sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, cover, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes. Let stand about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Calories 280
Fat 11g
Sodium 523mg
Carbs 19g
Fiber 4g
Protein 17g

Albino Chili

1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (remove seeds to decrease spiciness)
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
1 tsp powdered cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained
8 ounces cooked chicken breast, in small cubes
1/4 cup fresh or 2 tsp dried cilantro
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese

Saute onion and garlic in oil in pot until tender. Add jalapeno, chiles, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, and salt, and saute another minute. Stir in chicken broth, beans, and chicken. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir in cilantro and cheese and serve.

Makes 3 (1 1/3 cup) servings.

Calories 300
Fat 14
Sodium 1139mg
Carbs 19g
Fiber 4g
Protein 25g

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

1 egg
3/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs
1/4 cup flour
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch slices (I like to peel my eggplant, but that's up to you!)
1 jar (about 24-26 ounces) marinara sauce
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups whole wheat angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions

Preheat the broiler. Line baking sheet with foil. In a shallow bowl, beat the egg. In another shallow bowl, combine the flour and bread crumbs. Dip the eggplant into the egg, letting the excess drip back into the bowl, then in the bread crumb mixture, coating both sides, and place slices on the baking sheet. Broil the eggplant on both sides until well browned, about 3-5 minutes per side. (Be careful, they can burn easily!!) Preheat the over to 375 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Layer the bottom of the pan with the eggplant slices. Cover the slices in marinara sauce then sprinkle cheeses on top. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Serve over pasta.

**Two nights ago I went to make this dish. I was really looking forward to it. I pulled out my eggplant, started to slice, and then realized that my eggplant had gone bad! :( So I sent my husband to the store. They were completely out of eggplant. :( So instead I slices 3 medium zucchini the same way I would the eggplant, leaving peels on, but discarding the ends (since they were all peel), and it tasted equally as delicious! So if you can't find eggplant or just don't love it, try it with zucchini!!**

Makes 6 servings.

Calories 365
Fat 11g
Sodium 780mg
Carbs 47g
Fiber 6.5g
Protein 20g

Creamy Broccoli Soup

14 ounce package (or 5 cups) frozen broccoli florets
1 small onion, chopped
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
3/4 cup fat free half and half
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 full cup small fresh broccoli florets
1 tbsp lemon juice

Place frozen broccoli, onion, broth, and parsley in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover tightly and simmer for 45 minutes, stir occasionally. Remove from heat and uncover. Stir together half and half, milk, and cornstarch until smooth and set aside. Puree hot cooked mixture in blender in small batches (be so careful!) until smooth. Return to pan and and stir in half and half mixture and remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook 15 minutes or until broccoli florets are desired tenderness.

Makes 6 servings.

Calories 85
Fat 1.5g
Sodium 1112mg
Carbs 16g
Fiber 2g
Protein 2g