The Classic GK Veggie Burger

Veggie burgers are everywhere these days, but it’s becoming more difficult to find one that doesn’t contain a bucket load of nuts, beans, or something else heavy, gas-inducing, or not a far cry from its meaty counterpart. If you want a protein-packed burger, a vegan rendition is best made using a bean base. Tonight, however, I was just looking for the burger experience without the post-dinner food baby.

I’ll show you how to make a kidney bean-based veggie burger in an upcoming post. But for now, the GK standard veggie burger stands as such:


Classic Veggie Burger

by Aylin

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20

Ingredients (4-6 patties)

For the Burger:

  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 2 cups crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • *1 cup reserved juice pulp (from having juiced cucumbers, greens and carrots)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
*optional, can be replaced with 1 cup of mashed beans (kidney, white)

For the topping:


Before I made this burger, I made sure to save about 1 cup of the pulp after preparing my daily green drank.


A great way to re-use the pulp! (P.S. I don’t advise tasting it as such…bleh and boring.)


Another part (or rather, topping) of the burger to prepare is the red pepper. Don’t be scared to char the pepper – it won’t burst into flames or anything. You could also bake the red pepper. The blacker, the better. When completely charred, seal it with aluminum foil or cover it in a brown paper bag and let it sit. This will help the skin to peel off in a cinch.


Now, to the burger itself.

First, dice the onions, celery and garlic and shred the carrot. Toss into a hot saucepan with 1 tbsp olive oil. Cook until the onion is nearly translucent. Season with salt and pepper.


Next, roughly chop the cremini mushrooms and add them to the saucepan. We are adding them a bit later than the other vegetables, because mushrooms cook faster and thus require less time on the stove.


Once the mushrooms are cooked through, remove from the stove and pour mixture into a glass bowl. Let it sit for a moment to cool down.


Then toss in the chopped scallions, nutritional yeast, juice pulp, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt, pepper, and 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.


Mix thoroughly. The result should be able to hold together well in the hand and able to form flat patties. Make same-sized patties and place them in aluminum foil that has been rubbed with some olive oil. Drizzle all the patties with olive oil in order to achieve that crispy top while baking.


Put in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 20 minutes.

In the meantime, gather the goodies.


Remember this guy? This probiotic-packed red cabbage has been building up enzymes all week stored away in my cupboard and is now ready to use, pickled and perfect!


Ding! The burgers are ready.


Let’s assemble this mofo. You could use a regular or whole-wheat/grain bun, but I nixed the bread and used some grilled eggplant as the base. I then topped the eggplant with lettuce, the burger, mustard, roasted red pepper, a tomato slice, avocado slices, red cabbage, another layer of lettuce, and lastly another layer of eggplant.

Leftover toppings were put on the side of my plate as a salad.


All these pictures look the same, and they all make me drool the same.




Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Eggplant & Tomato Tahini Twist

There are few things I wouldn’t put tahini on. This recipe is an acceptable pairing, but you should just see the ways I’ve found an excuse to use tahini. From breakfast to dessert, it has become a mainstay these days. Last night I mixed the tahini with honey and melted chocolate and ate it by the spoonful. So good.

You can’t go wrong with a recipe as simple as this. The eggplant’s mild flavor is accentuated by a high-quality extra virgin olive oil, and the sun-dried tomato adds a comforting texture. The tahini makes the dish a bit more unique for the palette and gives some earthy overtones.


Eggplant & Sun-Dried Tomato Tahini Twist

by GK

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (1 serving)

  • 1 eggplant, sliced
  • 5-6 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp scallions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp tahini


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Soak sun-dried tomatoes in lukewarm water for at least an hour, or until they are soft and plump. Drain them from the water and put them in a serving dish. Let the sun-dried tomatoes sit in the dish with 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil.

Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch thick discs and lay each one out onto aluminium foil. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil atop the eggplant pieces so they are evenly covered. Cook for 10 minutes in the preheated oven.

When the eggplant is slightly browned, remove from the oven and put into the dish with the sun-dried tomatoes. Add the chopped scallions. Toss the ingredients together until olive oil evenly coats them. Season with salt and pepper to taste with a pinch of red pepper flakes.

As a finishing, but delicious touch, drizzle the dish tahini.







Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Buddha Bowl

A “Buddha Bowl” is essentially a kitchen sink salad. It includes whatever raw vegetables you have on hand—avocado and carrots are usual suspects—and a grain. My version is a bit different in that it emphasizes the grain over the greens and if I’m using carrots, and not grating them, I like to cook them slightly, so overall the veggies in the dish aren’t entirely raw.

This dish is wonderful in that it can be repeated in so many different ways. Simply by substituting the grain with, say, quinoa will change the entirely aesthetic, taste and overall experience. I like to use heavier grains, like millet or brown rice. And, because I love spices and all things spicy, I usually add a touch of red pepper flakes (or sometimes even cumin) to give an entire new dimension to the outcome.

Here’s my Saturday night’s version:

The GK Go-To Buddha Bowl



– 1 cup cooked brown rice

– 1 cup spinach or kale, without stems

– 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

– 1/2 cup carrot, chopped

– 1 clove garlic, chopped

– 1/4 cup scallions, chopped

– 1 tbsp nutritional yeast

– handful chopped parsley

– Salt and pepper, to taste

– pinch of red pepper flakes

– 1/4 avocado per serving

Serves: 1


Always wash rice before cooking—it gets rid of some of the starch that makes the result less sticky and gluten-y.


You could easily eat the carrots raw, but I like them lightly cooked and infused with some garlic taste, so I like to toss them in a pan with some olive oil and fresh garlic for a few minutes or until slightly browned.



While the brown rice is cooking away, assemble the rest of the ingredients next to a salad bowl with the green of choice – I used spinach – already in place.



When the brown rice is ready, put 1 cup into the salad bowl, atop the greens. The heat from the rice will help the greens to wilt. Then add the remainder of the ingredients, EXCEPT for the avocado, which will be used as a garnish once served. You don’t want the avocado to get mushy or overheated.


Incoming: Nutritional Yeast.

Say what?

Nutritional Yeast: an inactive yeast that has a distinct nutty/cheesy flavor. It is also the only reliable food source of vitamin B12, so if you’re vegan, it’s a good idea to add some to your food regularly.

You can find it in most health food stores. It has been gaining popularity in health-food circles and is breaching the mainstream. I find it absolutely delicious and recently it has become a staple in all of my salads and sprinkled atop cooked veggies. It’s unreal on popcorn with some salt and garlic and also a star when used in vegan “cheese” sauces, because it gives it that taste you crave for in cheese without the dairy.

But, we digress…


Serve from this…


…to this:





Hearty, earthy and tasty!

Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin

Salmon Patties

These salmon patties are light, tender and can be eaten alone, in a sandwich or wrap and atop a salad. I nixed the bread crumbs, which makes them that much healthier! This one is such a treat.

Salmon Patties



– 6-8 ounces salmon, chopped

– 1/4 cup parsley, chopped

– 1/4 cup scallions, chopped

– 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated

– 1 tsp salt and pepper, each

– 1 tsp dijon mustard

– 1 tbsp soy sauce

– 2-3 tbsp olive oil

– 1 egg white

– 1 tsp oil or butter for cooking

Servings: 2



Take the salmon, remove the skin and chop into chunks. Use a different cutting board for the salmon than you would for the vegetables. You don’t want to cross contaminate. I like to use a plastic cutting board for all raw meats, because it won’t absorb any juices from the meat. A wood cutting board does.



Place into a bowl.



Next chop the scallions and parsley.







Grate the ginger. No need to remove the skin, as it will naturally just fall to side during grating.



Toss all the ingredients into the bowl with the salmon.


Add the salt and pepper, mustard and soy sauce.





Mix thoroughly.


Add one egg white.



After mixing thoroughly, create 2 patties and wrap in plastic wrap.



Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours so all the flavors marry, or freeze them if you will cook them another day.


To cook, melt the butter.


And delicately place the salmon patties into the pan. Make sure to be careful, because since we aren’t using any bread crumbs, the patty won’t stick together as easily. As it cooks, it will harden and stay together, but it requires being careful when flipping. Each side needs about 2-3 minutes.



When done, dollop mustard on top of the patty and get eating!





So juicy and delicious!



xo Aylin