Veggie Reubens

Jump to Recipe

Ok, it didn’t photo well. But it tastes AMAZING!

My favorite restaurant is this cute little Mom & Pop restaurant/ice cream shop less than 5 minutes from my house. It’s one of the few places around us that has vegetarian options that aren’t salad. Don’t get me wrong, I loves good salad but as an introvert, salads aren’t appealing enough to make me want to go out to dinner.

Another note about this restaurant, we are easily the youngest people in there by a good 20 years most of the time. My mom says the age gap of patrons at the restaurant speaks to my soul because I’m an “older” person at heart. I feel this is a good thing, not sure she means it as a compliment, haha.

Anyways, back to the fact that they have wonderful vegetarian options. This is the restaurant I discovered the vegetarian Reuben. Seriously it’s the best. We went there multiple times while I was pregnant with my 2nd because I had such bad cravings for it. I also gained 60 lbs while pregnant, not saying it’s associated…maybe it is.

So then Covid happened, and if anything will make an introvert want to stay home more, it’s the chance of catching a deadly illness while being in a crowded space. Nope. No, thank you. I really wanted to try and recreate Doug’s Veggie Reuben as it’s called at the Parlor, and I’m thrilled with the turnout!

Start by preheating your oven to 425. Begin dicing your vegetables: 1 zucchini, 1 yellow squash, 1/2 an onion, 1 eggplant and about 5 mushrooms. These can be changed out but I’d generally stick with those that roast similarly.

Throw the diced veggies in a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Toss on a little olive oil (or oil of your choosing). I’ll admit I don’t measure my olive oil. I’d say I probably used about 1 tbsp or so. Stir the veggies around in the pan until they are all coated. Add a little more if needed.

Place your sheet pan in the oven for about 30 minutes. Check about 15 minutes in and give it a stir before placing back in the oven for the remaining 15 minutes.

Pretty Veggies

Meanwhile begin buttering your bread slices and getting your other ingredients ready. Just like a grilled cheese, butter the outside of each slice. You will need 2 slices of cheese per sandwich, Russian dressing (tbsp measurer) and sauerkraut (tbsp measurer).

At this time you can start preheating your griddle/panini maker/Foreman grill. If you are making these on the stovetop, wait to heat until veggies are done. Once you are ready to start cooking and the veggies are done, place one piece of sourdough bread, butter side down on the cooking surface. Place 2 slices of Swiss cheese on the first piece of bread. On top of the cheese, place 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the roasted veggies, followed by 1-2 tbsp Russian dressing and 2 tbsp sauerkraut. Top with the second piece of bread.

Depending on what you are using to cook the Reuben, either close the lid and let both sides cook. If you are using a griddle or skillet, let it sit until the cheese has time to melt then flip. Once it has browned on both sides, it’s time to eat!

Note: I would try to get the thickest type of bread you can find. I had sour dough, which is the perfect taste, but I wished it was thicker. Unfortunately, I’ve been doing pick up for groceries because Covid and it was a bit thinner than I would have liked.

Veggie Reuben

Serves: 7

Looks plain on the outside, lots of flavor on the inside!


  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 Yellow Squash
  • 1/2 an Onion
  • 1 Eggplant
  • 5 Mushrooms
  • Olive oil (or oil of your choice)
  • 14 Slices of Sour Dough Bread (Thick Slice)
  • Russian Dressing
  • Sauerkraut
  • 24 Slices of Swiss Cheese


  1. Preheat oven 425. Dice all the veggies, placing them in a prepared pan as you go. Add a dollop of oil (sorry, 1 tbsp ish) and stir to coat. Place pan in the oven for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare your bread by buttering each slice. Set aside until veggies are done. Pull out everything else you will need, dressing, sauerkraut and cheese. If you are using a griddle, panini maker or Foreman grill, preheat now.
  3. Once veggies are done, place first piece of bread (butter side down) on your heated cook surface. Add 2 slices of Swiss cheese, followed by 1/4 – 1/2 cup of roasted veggies, 1-2 tbsp Russian dressing, 2 tbsp of sauerkraut and top with the second piece of bread (butter side up).
  4. Let this sit for about 5 minutes until the bread is lightly brown. If using a skillet or griddle, flip and repeat for 5 more minutes or until both sides are lightly brown. Repeat the steps for remaining sandwiches.

Crockpot Applesauce

Jump to Recipe

Crockpot Applesauce has become almost a weekly staple in our house. We start it early Sunday morning, it’s finished by mid afternoon and we have snack for the week. I can’t even take full credit for this recipe as my husband is the applesauce maker and the recipe is his. Papa Bear Feeds Family edition.

If you want to make this recipe, I would recommend having an apple peeler/corer/slicer. It’ll save you a ton of time. Here’s an example of the one we have. You can peel with a standard peeler then core but it will take more time.

Example of the type of peeler/corer/slicer we use.

That’s the first step of the recipe, peel, core and slice 10-14 apples (6-9 lbs). If you have a peeler/corer/slicer, you should be able to set it to do all three at once. If not, using a vegetable peeler (carefully) peel each apple. To core either use an apple corer or cut off the four quarters as close to the core as possible without getting into the seeds. Each apple can go right into the crockpot as you core it.

We like to add 3-5 pear into our applesauce. If you don’t have pears you can skip this step, but we find that it makes the applesauce a little more creamy. The pears do have to be hand peeled and cored (by cutting off quarters).

From here, it’s simple. Add 1 tbsp of lemon juice. If you have fresh lemons, squeeze the juice from one lemon over a mesh strainer into the crockpot. Add 1 tsp of cinnamon and stir. Turn the crockpot on to low for 6-8 hours, stir every couple hours, and the crockpot does the rest of the work.

At 6 hours the applesauce will likely turn out a bit thicker, verses at 8 hours it will be a little more watery. Adding the pears also thickens it up a bit. If you are in a time crunch, 4-6 hours on high will also do the trick.

Once the apples have softened completely, use an immersion blender to create your desired consistency. If you don’t have an immersion blender, get one, they are wonderful. Just kidding. You can use a potato masher, but your applesauce will likely have more apple lumps, not necessarily a bad thing. Keeps in the fridge for about a week and could definitely be frozen. Easy applesauce with no added sugar and no preservatives from your own kitchen.

Crockpot Applesauce


  • 10-14 apples (about 6-9 lbs)
  • 3-5 pears
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (or juice from 1 fresh lemon)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


1. Using a peeler/corer/slicer, peel, core, and slice 10-14 apples. Place the apples in the crockpot as you go. If you don’t have a peeler/corer/slicer, you can peel with a regular vegetable peeler and core by cutting the quarters off the apple as close to the core as possible without hitting the seeds.

2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel 3-5 pears. Core the pears by cutting the quarters off as close to the core as possible without hitting the seeds. Place the pears in the crockpot with the apples.

3. Add 1 tbsp lemon juice (or the juice from one fresh lemon) and 1 tsp cinnamon. Stir to coat as best as possible.

4. Turn the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours or 4-6 on high. After the apples have cooked down, use an immersion blender to create your desired consistency.

Chickpea Salad with Cucumbers and Grapes

Jump to Recipe

When I was 15 I started working at a local ice cream shop. It was seriously the best first job a young teen could ask for. Great hours, tips, working with mainly with other kids my age, free samples, and you always left smelling like fresh baked goods.

The owner was a wonderful baker and made everything from scratch. German chocolate cake, cheese cake, apple pie, carrot cake, the whole lot. So you are probably wondering how this related with Chickpea Salad. Steve is the one who introduced me to grapes in chicken salad. Now as an adult, I know this isn’t that novel. However, to 15 year old me, I was like “what a great idea!”

Anyways, flash forward another 15 years and my kid won’t touch onion, celery or my Jackfruit Salad. When I remembered Steve adding in grapes to his salad, I knew Mr. 3 would go for that. Just replaced the celery with cucumber and he was sold. The only problem is I don’t like cucumber so we always have to make two different types but at lunch time we’re both happy and that’s what matters.

Chickpea Salad couldn’t be easier. Start by draining and rinsing a 15oz can of chickpeas. Put the rinsed chickpeas into a medium bowl (I obviously used too small of a bowl). Dice 1/2 a medium cucumber and cut about 10-15 grapes in half. Add those to the chickpea bowl. Add 2 tbsp of mayo and stir until everything is coated.

At this point do a taste test to determine if more mayo is needed. If is so, add a little more & test again. Once mayo is right, add some salt and pepper and you are ready for lunch. If you prefer your chickpeas not to be whole, you can crush them using the back of a serving spoon or a potato masher, if you have one.

One of the great parts of Chickpea Salad is that it’s easy to change out for what you have. No kaiser roll, just use regular bread or eat it without bread. No cucumbers, use celery. There’s no rules, you do you.

Chickpea Salad with Cucumbers and Grapes

Little hands trying to dig in.

Serves: 4


  • 15 oz can of chickpeas
  • 1/2 a medium cucumber
  • 10-15 grapes
  • 2-3 tbsp mayo
  • 4 kaiser rolls (or bread of choice)
  • Salt
  • Pepper


1. Start by draining and rinsing a 15 oz can of chickpeas. Move the rinsed chickpeas to a medium bowl.

2. Dice 1/2 a medium cucumber, then cut about 10-15 grapes in half. Add both the cucumber and grapes to the bowl with chickpeas.

3. Add 2-3 tbsp of mayo to the chickpeas and stir until all combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve!

Air Fryer Turmeric Tofu

Jump to Recipe

Air fryers are the next big thing in kitchen appliance and I totally understand why. They are a fast and easy way to make some of your favorite foods in tasty ways without resorting to having to actually fry foods, which is great for both calories and time.

My favorite food to use the air fryer for is tofu. Tofu took me a little while to get into after becoming a vegetarian but after finding a reliable way to make it that tastes good, in both the oven and air fryer, I totally see the appeal. Tofu can take on the taste of anything and has such a wide variety of uses. I like to put tofu on top of my salads or just use it as a snack with my kids.

This recipe is for turmeric and paprika tofu. Start by pressing your tofu for about 10 minutes. There are many ways to do this or even just buying a tofu press. We eat tofu probably at least once a week and I’ve yet to find the need to buy a tofu press. Granted, I’ve never used one, so maybe I’m missing out.

Anyways, the way I press tofu is by cutting it into 4 even slices. I lay a dish towel across a baking sheet and lay the 4 slices horizontally on the dish towel. Place another dish towel on top of the tofu. Put a baking pan filled half way with water on top of the tofu. Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. If you prefer thicker slices of tofu, you can just cut 3 even slices instead of 4.

My well loved XL sheet pan

After the tofu has been pressed cut it into cubes and place in a medium sized bowl. Add 3 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp garlic and stir, making sure everything is coated. Let the tofu marinade for 15 minutes.

Now that it’s marinated, place about half of the tofu into the air fryer basket. They can touch but shouldn’t overlap. Set the temperature to 375 and time to 16 minutes. Once the first round is complete, put the first half in a container to cool while waiting for the second half.

Place the second half in the air fryer, making sure the pieces don’t overlap. Since the air fryer is already heated the second half won’t need as much time. Leave the temperature set to 375 but only cook for about 10 minutes. It’s ready to serve!

If you don’t have an air fryer, follow the same steps for preparation. Preheat your oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Lay out the tofu on the baking sheet. Place it in the oven for 30 minutes, flipping each piece about half way through.

Turmeric Tofu

Turmeric Tofu + mixed greens = perfect salad!


  • 16 oz package of tofu
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic


  1. Begin by pressing your tofu. There are many ways this can be done. You can use a tofu press if you have one. If not, cut the tofu into 4 even slices. Place a folded dish towel on a baking sheet. Lay the tofu horizontally across the baking sheet. Place another dish towel across the top of the tofu. Fill a baking pan or a 9×13 about half way with water and place it on top of the tofu. Let this sit for about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Once tofu has been pressed, cut each layer of tofu into cubes and put it in a large bowl. Add 3 tbsp soy sauce, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp paprika, and 1/2 tsp garlic then stir well until all of the tofu is coated. Let to tofu marinade for about 15 minutes.
  3. Place half the tofu into the air fryer basket. The tofu can be touching but shouldn’t overlap. Set the temperature to 375 and the time to 16 minutes.
  4. Once the first batch is complete, empty the basket and put in the second round of tofu. Since the air fryer is already heated, the second batch doesn’t need as much time. Set the temperature back to 375 and the time to 10 minutes.
  5. Serve as desired!

Lentil Zucchini Oat Burgers

Jump to Recipe

For years, I’ve wanted to start a food blog. Something that didn’t occur to me until posting on Instagram was that you have to toot your own horn. You have to be willing to say, “I made this and they are great. You will want these.” That’s not something that comes easy to me. However, I made these, these are great. You will want these. Haha.

Seriously, the Lentil Zucchini Burgers are the exact type of veggie burger I have been looking for. Moist and dense, in a good way. Super flavorful, with ingredients you likely have on hand at all times. They don’t crumble and have a texture similar to a meat burger. Truly wonderful. *Toot, toot*

If you don’t want to take my word for it, my mom, love her to pieces, but she scoffs at almost all my vegetarian adaptations and even she said “Mmm, these are really good”. If she says that it has to be true.

Start by making 1 cup of cooked lentils. Lentils are a 3:1 ratio. Place 1 cup of vegetable broth (or water) in a sauce pan. Rinse 1/3 cup of green lentils in a mesh strainer then put the lentils in the sauce pan with the water. Turn the heat on high until the water and lentils begin boiling, then turn the temperature to medium. Boil lentils for 18 minutes.

While waiting on the lentils, grate 1 small zucchini and squeeze to remove any excess water. The best way to do this is to lay a clean hand towel over a bowl. Grate the zucchini over the towel/bowl. Gather up the ends of the towel and squeeze the zucchini “ball” until most of the moisture is removed.

Once the lentils have finished cooking, preheat oven to 350. Pour the lentils into the food processor. There may be a small amount of liquid left with the lentils, that’s okay. Add grated zucchini, 1 cup of oats, 1 egg, 1 tsp garlic, 1 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning into the food processor. Pulse until well combined.

Create 5 burger shaped patties. Place each patty on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Place in the oven for 25 minutes, flipping half way.

Lentil Zucchini Burgers

Serves: 5


  • 1 cup vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1/3 cup dry green lentils (rinsed)
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • Toppings of your choice


  1. Rinse 1/3 cup of dry green lentils in a mesh strainer. Boil 1 cup vegetable broth (or water) with 1/3 cup of the rinsed lentils. Once at boiling, drop temperature to medium for 18 minutes.
  2. While waiting for lentils, grate a zucchini and preheat oven to 350. To get excess moisture out, place a clean dish towel in a bowl. Grate zucchini over the dish towel/bowl. Gather the dish towel and squeeze out excess moisture.
  3. Once lentils are cooked and most of the liquid has been absorbed, put all ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are combined.
  4. Remove the blade from the bowl of the food processor. Using medium handfuls, form 5 burger patties and place each on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat mat.
  5. Place baking sheet in the oven for 30 minutes, flipping half way through.

Berry Puff Pastries

Jump to Recipe

You don’t have to do everything from scratch. Nobody wants to make puff pastry! – Ina Garten

I’ve never made puff pastry from scratch. Ina Garten is right. Just like with the Sheet Pan Pancakes, I used box version to make my life easier. I will also admit, these didn’t photograph well…but they are delicious and so very easy to make. The puff pastry has a great flakey crust and the berries have a perfect level of sweetness.

Frozen puff pastry needs to thaw before use. Set out for about 20-30 minutes prior to rolling it out. If it’s still not ready within 20ish minutes, you can wrap it in a paper towel and microwave for 10-15 seconds on each side.

While you are waiting for the puff pastry to defrost, add 3-4 cups of frozen berries and 2 tbsp of honey to a medium sauce pot. Place it on medium heat. Leave the berries and honey on heat for about 10 minutes until they start to break down and become syrupy. Once the berries begin to break down, combine the juice from 1/2 a lemon with 2 tbsp of cornstarch (add a bit of cold water if needed) and create a slurry. Add this to the berries as they cook.

Once the berries have become syrupy, take it off the heat and set to the side to let it cool for a little. Sprinkle a flat surface with flour and lay out the defrosted puff pastry. Using a rolling pin, roll out the puff pastry. It doesn’t need to be overly thin, just thin enough to be able to fold the squares.

Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the puff pastry into 9 pieces (3×3). If you are working on a counter top, transfer each square to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat.

Place a spoonful of the berry filling on each of the squares. Get a small bowl of water and wet the edges of each square with a finger tip. Gently fold over each edge, making a rectangle. Press with your finger tips or a fork to seal. Some of the berries may fall out, that’s okay.

Once you put the tray in the fridge, preheat your oven to 400. After 10 minutes, crack an egg and beat it. Do an egg wash on top of each pastry. Then bake for 15 – 17 minutes until the puff pastries are golden on top. Wait 10 minutes before serving. The filling inside will be very hot. They save and reheat well in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. Drizzle a bit more honey on top or some powdered sugar for some extra sweetness.

**I consider these “family” friendly, but just a reminder not to serve these to children under the age of 1, due to the honey and the risk of botulism**

Berry Puff Pastries

Serves: 18 (using both sheets of puff pastry)


  • 1 frozen box of puff pastry sheets
  • 3-4 cups of frozen mixed berries
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 Egg


  1. Remove frozen puff pastry sheets from the freezer and let it defrost for about 20-30 minutes.
  2. While sheets are defrosting, place 3-4 cups of frozen mixed berries in a sauce pot with 2 tbsp of honey. Combine lemon juice and 2 tbsp of corn starch to create a slurry. Add this into berries as they begin to break down. It should take about 10-15 minutes on medium heat for berries to meet the right consistency.
  3. After the sheets have defrosted, sprinkle flour on your work surface and roll the sheets out.
  4. Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the sheets into 9 squares (3×3). Transfer each square on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat mat.
  5. Do the same with the second sheet of puff pastry dough.
  6. Fill each square with a spoonful of berries. Grab a small bowl of water. Using your finger, line the edges of each square with a bit of water to help seal them.
  7. Fold over the edges forming rectangles. Use your finger tips or a fork to fully seal each edge.
  8. Place the puff pastry in the fridge for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 400. Remove and egg wash the top of each pastry. Place in the oven for 15-17 minutes until tops are golden. Wait 10 minutes before eating.