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!

Banana Slush

Congratulations! You’ve stumbled upon the most delicious holiday drink recipe of all time. My husband always teases me about how my family fights over banana slush but then he says, “Wait, there’s banana slush? I want some.” You need to make sure you have a big cup so you can claim your share before it’s gone.

Banana Slush


Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 20 minutes
Servings 16 pints

Ingredients

  • 6 ripe bananas, peeled
  • 6 oz orange juice concentrate
  • 6 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 46 oz can pineapple juice
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 2- liter lemon-lime sodas

Instructions

  1. The slush mixture makes approximately 1 gallon. Once you mix it with soda it will make 2 total gallons. Start by preparing two half-gallon containers that you will use for freezing. You can mix everything in a huge bowl if you have one or divide it as you go and mix it individually in your two containers.
  2. Microwave water until very warm. Pour in blender, add sugar and blend until sugar is dissolved. Add 6 oz orange juice concentrate and lemon juice to blender and blend on high until totally smooth. Add contents of blender to the huge mixing bowl.

  3. Add half the bananas and half of the pineapple juice to the blender. Blend on high until smooth. Add contents of the blender to the mixing bowl.
  4. Add remaining bananas and pineapple juice to the blender. Blend until smooth. Add to mixing bowl.
  5. Mix juices until totally combined. Pour into your freezing containers and close them tightly. Freeze about 24 hours until frozen solid.
  6. Remove ½ gallon frozen slush mixture 1 hour before you are serving it. After letting it thaw on the counter for an hour, use a table knife to cut it in two directions. I normally cut it into about ½ inch sections. Add 1 2-liter soda to a gallon pitcher. Spoon slush mixture into pitcher. Stir gently to combine. Adding the soda first reduces the amount of foam in your pitcher.
  7. Repeat previous step if you are making the whole recipe at once. This can also be made in a 2-gallon punch bowl instead of in 2 gallon pitchers.

There are lots of good punch recipes, and I have never met one I don’t love. But banana slush shines above the rest. It has so many delicious tropical flavors and they come together perfectly. If you want to make an occasion extra special, you definitely need to serve banana slush.

I grew up drinking banana slush and we still have it at every family gathering. I serve it every chance I get. I’m trying to convert the world. I’m not joking about having a big cup. In my family you have to keep your cup full or you’ll look up and the banana slush is gone.

We normally have banana slush for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter. There is no occasion too big or too small for banana slush. Don’t miss out on this totally delicious drink!

Enjoy!

Banana Slush – Get Hooked on Cooking – Congratulations! You’ve stumbled upon the most delicious holiday drink recipe of all time. My husband always teases me about how my family fights over banana slush but then he says, “Wait, there’s banana slush? I want some.” You need to make sure you have a big cup so you can claim your share before it’s gone. 

 

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.

Awesome & Healthy Korean-Inspired Veggie Pancakes

Korean food is delicious. The drawback of some ethnic food is it can be hard to replicate without special ingredients. But you won’t find any tricky techniques or hard-to-find ingredients in this easy recipe. It is packed with vegetables, but tastes like a sinful cheat meal. Try it today! 

Awesome & Healthy Korean-Inspired Veggie Pancakes


Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients

Pancakes:

  • 2 carrots (~ 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 medium yellow squash (~ 2 cups)
  • 1 medium zucchini (~ 2 cups)
  • 2 bunches of green onion (~ 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chickpea flour (or an additional 1 cup all purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • ¾ cup water
  • vegetable oil for frying

Dipping sauce:

  • 3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 green onion minced
  • 1 clove garlic minced

Instructions

  1. Cut off the stem ends of the zucchini, squash, and carrots. Don't peel. Use a spoon to scrape out the soft, seedy part of the zucchini and squash.
  2. Use a food processor to grate the carrots, squash, and zucchini.
  3. Slice off the roots of the green onions and the top 3 inches. Thinly slice. All the vegetables together should total about 7 cups. Add additional vegetables as needed.

  4. Add vegetables, flour, chickpea flour, garlic, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Mix until vegetables are covered with flour.
  5. Add beaten eggs and water to vegetable/flour mixture. Mix to combine.

  6. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil. Let oil heat through. Spread about ¾ cup veggie mixture as thinly as possible in the pan. Having holes in your pancake is better than having it too thick so don't hold back. Spread it thin.

  7. Cook about 5 minutes. Bottom should be well browned. Lift pancake and add another tablespoon of oil to the pan if the pan is dry. Flip pancake. (Don't be scared. They hold together well.) Cook pancake about 3 minutes.

  8. To make dipping sauce mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Serve pancake hot with dipping sauce.

This dish is closely related to jeon, a Korean pancake. I was first introduced to jeon by my cousin’s husband. He loves Korean food since he lived in Korea for 2 years during his church mission. Well it is delicious, so I tried to replicate it at home and it is easy to make!

This differs from authentic jeon because I use chickpea flour to replace some of the white flour. If you don’t want to bother with chickpea flour feel free to use all purpose flour. Chickpea flour adds extra protein and has fewer carbs than regular flour. Win-win.

Look at all those veggies! I left all my vegetables unpeeled (yes, even my carrots) and you should too! It doesn’t change the flavor but it does make it a lot easier. Use the grater on your food processor to make this recipe in a snap!

This is a great dish to introduce kids gently to new flavors. My picky toddler refused to try this the first two times I made it. Then the third time she took a tiny bite and asked for a second tiny bite. Then she asked for bread with honey. But that’s progress in my book.

Enjoy!

Awesome & Healthy Korean-Inspired Veggie Pancakes – Get Hooked on Cooking – Korean food is delicious. The drawback of some ethnic food is it can be hard to replicate without special ingredients. But you won’t find any tricky techniques or hard-to-find ingredients in this easy recipe. It is packed with vegetables, but tastes like a sinful cheat meal. Try it today! 

 

Greek Quinoa

I could eat this quinoa every day, which is a good thing because it makes 10 servings, so I did eat it every day for 5 days. Serve it on its own or serve it with some chicken and roasted vegetables. Any way you serve it, it’s delicious!

Greek Quinoa

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp basil
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 1 Tbsp granulated garlic
  • 2 Tbsp oregano
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 ½ cups water
  • 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 1 9.5 oz jar sliced kalamata olives
  • 4 oz crumbled goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Dice peppers and onions to desired size. You can substitute 4 cups of other diced vegetables of your choice if desired. 

  2. Heat oil over high in a large lidded pot or pan. Add diced peppers and onion. Cook the vegetables for 2 minutes while you measure out the spices. 

  3. Add remaining ingredients through quinoa and stir to combine. Make sure all of the quinoa is submerged or it will stay crunchy. I also stir 2 times while cooking to make sure all the quinoa is cooked evenly. 

  4. Cover and cook about 18 minutes. 

  5. Stir in the drained olives while there is still liquid in the pot. If it's looking dry add another ½ cup of water. 

  6. Cover and cook 5 more minutes. Top individual portions with goat cheese.

Lets eat quinoa! It’s so good for you and this recipe makes it taste like a treat. The spice combination is so delicious and it plays off the salty olive flavor and the creamy goat cheese perfectly.

This quinoa is loaded with vegetables but you would never know it because they soak up the amazing spices and olive flavor. You don’t have to use onions and peppers, those are just some of my favorites. Sub in 4 cups of your favorite vegetables instead; make it your own. Look at all those delicious vitamins!

I’ve always found Kalamata olives to be a bit too assertive for my taste. This makes them the perfect cooking olive for me. Some of the flavor soaks out of the olives in the last 5 minutes of cooking and seasons the quinoa. Even after that they still have enough oomph left over to be a completely delicious addition. If you do this with black olives they lose all their flavor in the first minute. Do not make this with black olives!

I have to admit that the goat cheese is my favorite part. The contrasting flavors and textures in this dish are dreamy. The goat cheese is so creamy and rich with a slight tang. Yum.

Greek Quinoa - Get Hooked on Cooking - I could eat this quinoa every day, which is a good thing because it makes 10 servings, so I did eat it every day for 5 days. Serve it on its own or serve it with some chicken and roasted vegetables. Any way you serve it, it's delicious!

Enjoy!

Greek Quinoa – Get Hooked on Cooking – I could eat this quinoa every day, which is a good thing because it makes 10 servings, so I did eat it every day for 5 days. Serve it on its own or serve it with some chicken and roasted vegetables. Any way you serve it, it's delicious!

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!