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1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for frying (this recipe calls for a shallow, not deep, fry, so the oil should only come up about 1/4 inch on the side of the pan)
1 small onion, small dice
1 red bell pepper (this time I used orange because it was all I had, but I like the red against the rest of the colors)
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
4 cups frozen chopped spinach (from the bag, not a box, which is more compact), drained well
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup taco (or fajita) seasoning
Kosher salt to taste
8 whole wheat tortillas
8 oz pepper jack cheese

1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
2. Saute the onion and pepper until soft, about 5 minutes, and then add the corn, spinach, black beans, seasoning, and salt. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture starts to stick together (almost like a thick paste).
3. Mash the mixture with a potato masher to break up most of the black beans and help all the ingredients stick together.
4. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the mixture in the center of each tortilla and spread out to about 1 inch from the edge. Sprinkle with 1 oz of the grated cheese and roll into a burrito.
5. Heat canola oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, place the folded tortillas into into the pan, seam side down, and fry until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove and drain on paper towels.
6. Cut each “egg roll” in half on a diagonal and serve with a creamy dipping sauce (I was too lazy to include in this recipe, but this time I used 2 parts plain, non-fat Greek yogurt to 1 part mayonnaise, blended with chipotles in adobo).

This is the second time documenting this recipe, but the third time I’ve made it. The second time, I brushed each “egg roll” with canola oil and baked in a 425-degree oven for about 20 minutes. It was good, but the flavor did not come close to the fried version. So, depending on your mood, either method works well, but fried is preferred.

Notes: make sure to cook out all the moisture in the vegetable mixture, otherwise the tortillas will get soggy and puff up. This round had excellent flavor but the moisture was a problem.

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The ultimate healthy TV dinner. I served this with a raw broccoli and grape salad (recipe to follow).

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2 avocados, sliced
1 cup all-purpose flour (can use gluten-free all-purpose flour)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs (substitute with gluten-free to make it, well, gluten-free)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup plain, non-fat yogurt (or Greek yogurt)
3 chipotles in adobo, roughly chopped, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (feel free to scale down or up, depending on how spicy you like it; this makes it pretty spicy but not overpowering)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Set up a breading station: Combine flour with salt and pepper and place on a plate. Beat the eggs in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Combine breadcrumbs with salt and pepper and place on another plate.
3. Dredge the avocado slices in flour, then shake off excess and dip in the egg mixture. Allow excess egg to drip off before dipping in the breadcrumbs.
4. Place breaded avocado slices on a baking sheet.
5. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.
6. Make the aioli by combining mayonnaise, yogurt, chipotles, and adobo sauce. Season with salt, to taste.

Generously serves 2 hungry people.

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Notes: Very tasty, but next time try a shallow fry in oil, which will lend tremendous flavor to the breadcrumbs.

This is attempt #2 at testing this recipe. I think this newer version is better than this previous attempt.

1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp curry powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 stalks celery, medium dice
1 medium onion, medium dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
2-inch knob fresh ginger, minced
1 can coconut milk
1 1/2 avocados, sliced or diced, for garnish (optional, but highly recommended)
Lime juice, for serving (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Toss the carrots with 1 Tbsp olive oil, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Spread out on a sheet pan and roast for 25 minutes, or until dark brown and tender.
3. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add celery and onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add the carrots to the pot and cover by 1 inch with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
5. Puree the soup using an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and stir in coconut milk.
6. Garnish soup with avocado and freshly squeezed lime juice (optional). Fresh chopped cilantro would also be a great garnish.

Serves 4 (entree)-6 (appetizer)

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1 15-oz can chickpeas
1/2 onion, rough chop
1/4 cup parsley, rough chop
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (can substitute with any flour, including chickpea or chickpea/fava, which makes it gluten-free)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil

1. Combine ingredients and pulse in a food processor until the chickpeas are chopped up but not pureed. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until firm enough to handle.
2. Form chickpea mixture into little patties and lay out on a plastic wrap-lined baking sheet.
3. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the patties to the pan and pan-fry, about 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown and crispy.
4. Drain patties on a paper towel.
5. Serve atop a salad of tomatoes, chopped romaine lettuce, and lemon tahini dressing. Or, serve on a platter as an appetizer, with lemon tahini dressing for dipping.

Notes: patties need more structure, more flour. Mixture was too wet, flavor was pretty good. Above quantities are rough estimates. Needs to be tested a couple more times.

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2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp fajita or taco seasoning (alternately, use a combination of chili powder, cayenne, cumin, and garlic powder)
Kosher salt
8 medium whole wheat flour tortillas
8 oz pepper jack cheese, grated (can use non-dairy cheese to make it vegan)
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup mayonnaise (can use eggless to make it vegan)
1/4 cup cilantro salad dressing

1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
2. Saute the onion and pepper until soft, about 5 minutes, and then add the corn, spinach, black beans, seasoning, and salt. Stir and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Heat the canola oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
4. Spoon about 1/2 cup in the center of a tortilla and spread out to about 1 inch from the edge. Sprinkle with 1 oz of the grated cheese and fold like a burrito.
5. Once the oil is hot, place the folded tortillas into into the oil, seam side down, and pan-fry until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove and drain on paper towels.
6. Combine the mayonnaise and dressing and stir.
7. Cut each “egg roll” in half on a diagonal and serve with the creamy cilantro dipping sauce.

Notes: should test it out in the oven, perhaps brush each “egg roll” with oil once it’s stuffed.

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A while back I posted my favorite guacamole recipe, which calls for little more than the avocados themselves. This is typically my go-to approach for this simple starter, but here I deviated a bit. The avocados I bought were, for some reason, on the bland side, so I added a few more ingredients to the mix.

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2 Hass avocados, medium dice
juice of 1/2 lemon
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tomato, small dice (I only had cherry tomatoes so feel free to use whatever  you have on hand)
1/4 small red onion, minced (or 1 shallot, minced)
kosher salt, to taste

1. Place the avocados into a medium bowl and, using 2 knives, cut the pieces so that the avocados break down. Be sure to leave some chunks (unless you prefer it smooth).
2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the avocado and stir.
3. Adjust seasoning as needed.