Vegetable Lo Mein

I think of this as cheater lo mein because it’s filled with vegetables, but you just have to chop 1 onion and 1 bell pepper. It’s super easy and somewhat kid-friendly (can’t be perfect in that department). And it’s vegetarian while still being satisfying and filling.

Vegetable Lo Mein


Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 5

Ingredients

Lo Mein

  • 5 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp oil, divided
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 lb tri color coleslaw mix
  • 7 oz lo mein noodles

Sauce

  • ½ cup oyster sauce
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil

Garnish

  • green onions or cilantro optional

Instructions

  1. Start a pot of water boiling for your noodles. Peel and slice onion. Seed and slice red bell pepper. In a small bowl whisk eggs until well-beaten. In another small bowl mix together the sauce ingredients.
  2. Add lo mein noodles to the boiling water. Cook according to directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. While lo mein noodles are cooking, heat a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Spray with cooking spray and cook eggs until dry, not creamy. Remove eggs to a bowl. Wipe out pan if bits of egg remain.
  4. Heat non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and the peppers and onions. Stir-fry the peppers and onions for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Remove peppers and onions to a plate. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add coleslaw and stir-fry 1-2 minutes until slightly wilted.
  6. Add lo mein noodles, sauce, peppers, and onions to the pan with the coleslaw. Toss to combine and top with green onions or cilantro if desired.

Recipe Notes

Tip: food prep is important when stir-frying so we have all the prep in the first step. Don’t try to prep in the middle!

We like to eat vegetarian on occasion to save money and to stay healthy. Neither of us care for tofu or tempeh, which can make it harder than just substituting our favorite meat dishes with a vegetarian protein. I’m not willing to sacrifice on flavor to eat vegetarian (shocker, right?). This veggie lo mein is super satisfying and packed with flavor.

I said this is somewhat kid-friendly because in theory kids like pasta, right? My toddler has been extra picky lately so the first time I made this, I used two of her favorite vegetables, broccoli and corn, and I patted myself on the back that I had made a dinner that she would eat. Well, not only did she refuse to try it but she told me she now hates broccoli and corn. So that’s fun. She did end up trying it (it was that or go hungry) and loving the noodles but she adamantly refused to eat the vegetables. I believe her specific opinion was, “Yummy, it’s sweet! I love sugar!” Then she requested it for dinner the next week so I patted myself on the back again. The next week she said she hated it. That’s real life with a toddler for you.

You will not regret making this quick lo mein. It is great on its own or you can serve it with your favorite asian meal.

Enjoy!

Vegetable Lo Mein – Get Hooked on Cooking – I think of this as cheater lo mein because it's filled with vegetables, but you just have to chop 1 onion and 1 bell pepper. It's super easy and somewhat kid-friendly (can't be perfect in that department). And it's vegetarian while still being satisfying and filling.

Cheesy Bean Dip

These beans are seriously addictive. I was tasting them to adjust the salt, and I couldn’t stop eating them. Don’t eat canned refried beans. They are the worst. You can make these with just 10 minutes of hands-on time! Even better, they are freezer friendly, so you can have amazingly delicious refried beans whenever you want!

Cheesy Bean Dip


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 16

Ingredients

  • 3 cups dried pinto beans
  • 12 cups water
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 4-5 cups diced onion 4 medium onions
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar optional

Instructions

  1. Sort through beans removing any rocks. Rinse beans if desired and add to a large pot with the water. Soaking beans is not necessary! Bring to a boil and set your stove at a temperature that barely maintains a boil when pot is covered. Boil 2 hours or until beans are very tender.
  2. Reserve 3 cups of bean broth. Drain remaining liquid and set drained beans aside.
  3. Add oil to pot and turn heat to medium. When oil is hot add onions and turn heat to high. (I don't heat the oil on high to avoid potential kitchen fires.) Cook onions until lightly browned and translucent.

  4. Add beans, salt, and 2 cups of broth to the pot. Simmer at least 10 minutes to allow the flavor of the onion and salt to incorporate into the beans.
  5. Add cream cheese and mozzarella. Puree using an immersion blender until the beans are your desired consistency. Add more bean broth if desired to reach a smoother texture. I like to have some whole beans in the mix so 2 cups was perfect for me. 

  6. Top with shredded cheddar if desired. To be more fancy, transfer to a baking dish, top with cheddar, and keep warm at 250 degrees until you are ready to serve.

Canned refried beans are fine, sorry I said they are the worst, but homemade are so much better that they don’t even fall in the same food category. My mom spoiled us and always made homemade refried beans. I didn’t know there was any other way to eat refried beans for years. I still make homemade refried beans all the time, and the key to their amazing flavor is onions cooked in oil and the right amount of salt. This recipe was born because I had an extra block of cream cheese I needed to use up. Homemade refried beans are amazing, adding some cheese makes them irresistible.

I’ve already tried this dip out on dinner guests, and that’s going to happen a lot in the future. It’s the perfect dish to serve a crowd.

The health benefits of subbing this bean dip for your typical nacho cheese are ridiculous! Pinto beans are high in protein, fiber, vitamins B1 and B6, iron, magnesium, and potassium among other things. They can lower cholesterol, lower your risk of a heart attack, and increase your digestive health! Yay for beans! When I say lean protein you probably picture oven-roasted chicken. Well, no more! Pinto beans for president!

It’s easy to top this bean dip with other powerhouse health foods like salsa, onions, avocado, hot sauce, and tomatoes! Although I wouldn’t say no to a nice dollop of sour cream.

Enjoy!

Cheesy Bean Dip – Get Hooked on Cooking – These beans are seriously addictive. I was tasting them to adjust the salt, and I couldn't stop eating them. Don't eat canned refried beans. They are the worst. You can make these with just 10 minutes of hands-on time! Even better, they are freezer friendly, so you can have amazingly delicious refried beans whenever you want!

Easy Brussels Sprout Salad

Why do salads require so much chopping? It is so annoying. Not this salad. It barely counts as a recipe because it is so easy. But it is delicious and packed with nutrients so it is worth sharing. Do yourself a favor during this indulgent season, and make this yummy and healthy salad! Then you can eat some Christmas cookies guilt free. Life’s all about balance right?

Easy Brussels Sprout Salad


Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4 - 8 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh brussels sprouts
  • 1 large apple
  • ½ cup sweetened, dried cranberries
  • ½ cup roasted, shelled sunflower seeds
  • ½ - 1 cup poppy seed dressing

Instructions

  1. Trim tough ends off brussels sprouts. Add about half of the sprouts to a food processor. Process for about 15-30 seconds or until sprouts are well-chopped.

  2. Diced up your apple. Add brussels sprouts, apple, and remaining ingredients to a large bowl. Toss to combine.

  3. This makes 4 large side salads if you're serving this to salad lovers. It will feed about 8 if they are taking a more reserved serving.

Brussels sprouts are an unsung salad hero. They are incredibly mild when they are raw and they taste similar to cabbage. A food processor makes very quick work of chopping the sprouts so the only thing you will have to prep for this salad is the apple.

Did you know that most people gain an average of 1 pound over the holidays? Seriously. And then never lose it? Since the average adult gains 1 pound a year, holiday eating can account for all of adult weight gain! When I read that I decided to up our vegetable intake this holiday season. Hence why I’m making this easy salad. And you should too!

Enjoy!

Easy Brussels Sprout Salad – Get Hooked on Cooking – Why do salads require so much chopping? It is so annoying. Not this salad. It barely counts as a recipe because it is so easy. But it is delicious and packed with nutrients so it is worth sharing. Do yourself a favor during this indulgent season, and make this yummy and healthy salad! Then you can eat some Christmas cookies guilt free. Life's all about balance right?

Roasted Mexican Cauliflower

It may sound a bit odd but I promise, you won’t be disappointed. This roasted Mexican cauliflower is a delicious side dish to any Mexican meal. It is so easy to make, and, did I mention, healthy? My cauliflower-hating husband loves this, so don’t let your loathing of cauliflower stop you from trying it.

Roasted Mexican Cauliflower


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 2 Tbsp dried chives
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Break cauliflower into small florets. Add cauliflower to large mixing bowl. Drizzle with oil and stir to coat.
  2. In a small bowl, mix seasonings and cornstarch. Stir to combine. 

  3. Sprinkle the cauliflower with some of the seasoning mixture. Stir to coat. Continue sprinkling the cauliflower and stirring until all of the seasoning has been added.

  4. Line a baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup. Spray with cooking spray. Spread cauliflower on baking sheet in a single layer.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until cauliflower is tender and has a beautiful roasted color on the bottom.
  6. Serve hot with your favorite Mexican meal.

I love adding vegetables to a main dish and then serving vegetables on the side. It just makes me feel wholesome. This can be tricky to pull off with Mexican food. (Roasted fajitas again anyone? Or steamed corn?) Chips and salsa don’t count as a vegetable, sorry hubby. Cauliflower mixes it up and brings tons of vitamins to the table. Did you know just one serving of this roasted cauliflower will give you more than 100% of your daily value of vitamin C? It also gives you 3 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber, along with tons of other nutrients!

The spices in this dish are delicious! Stay away if you like your food bland because this cauliflower is packed with flavor. The cornstarch plus the roasting give this a crisp deliciousness.

This dish has been a hit with everyone who’s tried it. I served a table full of Mexican dishes to our family and two 19-year-old boys and I was shocked when this was the first dish to disappear. I tested this recipe for the blog after we had had dinner and my toddler kept asking for more. Even my cauliflower-hating husband was snacking on it. Do your taste buds and your waist a favor and try making roasted Mexican cauliflower today!

Enjoy!

Roasted Mexican Cauliflower – Get Hooked on Cooking – It may sound a bit odd but I promise, you won't be disappointed. This roasted Mexican cauliflower is a delicious side dish to any Mexican meal. It is so easy to make, and, did I mention, healthy? My cauliflower-hating husband loves this, so don't let your loathing of cauliflower stop you from trying it.

Sun-dried Tomato Hummus for Beginners

I love this hummus because it is a great recipe for beginners. It doesn’t require any chopping or special ingredient prep and it uses peanut butter instead of tahini. Let’s make hummus!

Sun-dried Tomato Hummus

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 24 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cans drained chickpeas, unsalted
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes in oil w/ liquid
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 6 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 shakes black pepper

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to food processor.

  2. Puree for 5 minutes. Scrape sides.

  3. Puree for 3-5 more minutes.

This recipe makes a lot and it’s easy to cut in half if you need to. We’ve never had trouble eating it before it goes bad, so I always make a big batch since I don’t like washing my food processor more often than necessary.

When I first started making hummus I had a lot of lumpy hummus and I gave up for a while. But I eventually figured it out so you don’t have to. Here’s what you need to know: 1) Add enough liquid. 2) Puree it for a long time. That’s it! You’ll have delicious, smooth hummus if you follow this recipe.

I used tahini for this recipe for a long time. And then it happened: I went to make hummus and there was no tahini! I had been wanting to try peanut butter as a substitute for a while and it worked beautifully. The sun-dried tomatoes add amazing flavor so don’t skimp.

Sun-dried Tomato Hummus - Get Hooked on Cooking - I love this hummus because it is a great recipe for beginners. It doesn’t require any chopping or special ingredient prep and it uses peanut butter instead of tahini. Let’s make hummus!

This is delicious served with fresh vegetables which is how we normally eat it. But some pita chips are a good option too, especially if you are trying to introduce this to someone who’s new to hummus.

Sun-dried Tomato Hummus for Beginners - Get Hooked on Cooking - I love this hummus because it is a great recipe for beginners. It doesn’t require any chopping or special ingredient prep and it uses peanut butter instead of tahini. Let’s make hummus!

Enjoy!

Sun-dried Tomato Hummus – Get Hooked on Cooking – I love this hummus because it is a great recipe for beginners. It doesn’t require any chopping or special ingredient prep and it uses peanut butter instead of tahini. Let’s make hummus!