Recipes for going further with food

It's National Nutrition Month this years theme is "Going Further With Food". Kathy Mora is an assistant professor of nutrition at SIUE. She's here today with a few healthy recipes that are also budget friendly.

Lentil Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce (adapted from

Canola Oil

1 lb ground turkey (any other ground meat can be substituted, venison is a nice compliment if available)

1 red pepper- cored, diced

2 garlic cloves- minced

1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated (can substitute ground powdered ginger)

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¼ C cilantro- chopped (optional, can substitute parsley if preferred))

¼ C red or green lentils

2-3 green onions

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 head of lettuce- butter or boston, leaves separated and washed

Peanut Sauce (can substitute hoisin sauce)

Heat ~2 Tbsp canola oil in large skilled on medium heat setting. Add ground turkey and red pepper, cook until meat is no longer pink. Use spoon to mix and break apart large pieces.

Add garlic, ginger, cilantro, and lentils. Cook and stir 1 minute

Add 1/3-2-3 C water and simmer 15 minutes until lentils are tender, excess moisture has evaporated, and meat has turned brown. Simmer longer if lentils are not at desired softness.

Add peanut sauce, soy sauce, and green onions. Cook 2 minutes, stirring to evenly coat all the mixture contents and heat through.

When done cooking, place mixture in bowl to serve, family-style. Spoon ~2-4 Tbsp mixture into lettuce leaf, fold leaf around mixture, and enjoy!

Peanut Sauce

In small bowl, combine the following ingredients:

2 tsp sesame oil (can use olive or canola oil)

4 tsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp peanut butter

1 tsp honey

2 tsp white vinegar

1/8 tsp garlic powder or 1 tsp fresh chopped garlic

1/8 tsp black pepper (or to taste)

20 drops hot sauce

Lentil Burgers

1 ¾ cup, dry red lentils

2 C vegetable stock/broth

1 Tbsp canola oil

½ onion, diced

½ Tbsp garlic, minced

¼ red pepper, diced

1 carrot, shredded

3 mushrooms, grated

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

¼ tsp red chili flakes

¼ tsp cumin

¼ tsp paprika (smoked, if available)

1 green onion, chopped

½ tsp thyme

1/3 C bread crumbs, divided

1 large egg, beaten

1. Rinse lentils and drain excess water. Place lentils in large saucepan, cover with vegetable stock/broth and bring to boil. Simmer 12-15 minutes, until tender

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2. Saute onion with oil until onions are golden brown, add garlic and carrot, continue sautéing for ~ 5 minutes.

3. Add all remaining vegetables, salt, and pepper to season. Cook on medium heat until tender and most liquid has evaporated.

4. Stir green onion, thyme, egg, ½ bread crumbs into cooked lentils. Add sautéed vegetables.

5. Using a serving spoon or scoop, form lentil patties. Roll patties in bread crumbs for outer layer to prevent sticking.

6. Play patties on tray, cover, refrigerate or freeze until ready to bake or cook in skillet.

Quinoa Bean and Lentil Salad (

¾ C uncooked, quinoa

1 1/3 c edamame, shelled, fresh or frozen

2 C green beans, blanched or steamed to crisp tender

1 C roasted red pepper, chopped (can use fresh, unroasted)

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

3-4 C leafy greens of choice

1-2 green onions, chopped

Garlic Vinaigrette

1 whole head garlic

5 Tbsp olive oil

¼ C lemon juice

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp maple syrup

¼ tsp salt

black pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Drizzle olive oil over garlic, wrap in foil, place on baking sheet and roast 30-35 minutes.

2. While garlic roasts, rinse quinoa, transfer to small pot and add 1 ½ C water. Bring mixture to boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, re-cover, and let rest until read to combine with other ingredients.

3. When garlic has cooled, mash and blend with remaining dressing ingredients. Can use food processor or blender or by hand. When smooth, set aside.

4. To compile the salad: place edamane, green beans, peppers, kidney beans, black beans and leafy greens in large mixing bowl. Add cooked quinoa, green onions and toss with vinaigrette. Toss gently to combine all ingredients and coat with dressing.

Can serve as own salad entrée, can be serve as side dish with salmon or chicken, or many other creative ways to enjoy this protein packed salad.

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Quick and Easy Black Bean and Rice Burgers

When you have leftover rice and beans, these are a quick and easy way recreate a second healthy meal!

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained. If already heated previously, no need to reheat, can start with cold or room temperature beans.

1 C cooked rice (brown rice is preferable, but any rice will work)

1 small onion, chopped (can sauté or use raw)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 can corn or 1 C frozen

1 tsp salt

cayenne pepper to taste

1/3 tsp chili powder or taco seasoning

3 Tbsp salsa

1 egg

1/3 C bread crumbs

1. In large mixing bowl, mash the beans with a fork.

2. Add all remaining ingredients, combine and mix well to thoroughly coat and blend flavors.

3. Form into patties of desired size. Cook patties in skillet with 2 Tbsp heated olive oil. Flip patty to cook evenly on both sides and for nice browned texture. When cooked to desired doneness, when patties do not crumble or break apart, serve warm on a bun with optional add-ons: avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, salsa/hot sauce.

Variations for serving any of the lentil mixtures:

1. Lettuce Wraps (above)

2. Add 1-2 eggs, 1 cup bread crumbs, form into patties and bake or cook in skillet as “burgers”, serve on bun with additional items such as lettuce, tomato, mustard, ketchup, avocado, etc.

3. Stuffed Peppers

4. Combine mixture with cooked brown rice, orzo, couscous, quinoa to make a one stop entrée or side dish. Serve over mixed greens for a salad, add other vegetables, such as cooked green beans, corn, tomatoes.