Tag Archives: lunch

The Big Bean Mac

The Big Bean MacYes I did.

You know the one.

Special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun!

~ The Big Mac Jingle

Except I left off the “2- all beef patties!” I enjoy my “Big Mac” with a bean burger in the middle! Real cheddar cheese, real ingredients without a crap-ton of salt and fat!  But I swear to you, both beef and bean lovers will adore this sandwich! Dare I say, it tastes just like the real deal? I do! It does. It so freaking does! I missed you, Big Mac, and now I can eat you- but better yet, I can enjoy you!

Making this ahead, is so easy if you have some bean burgers on hand, as I seem to make them in huge quantity these days myself, this makes these burgers almost too easy to put together! I took special attention to try to make this the way I would if I had a diner, and was giving you my best sammie for lunch:

Start with the bun:

sesame seed bun

Start with a great sesame seed bun- they are right in the grocery store people! Why aren’t we buying these? They are delicious!

Toast it on both sides:


See how a little butter goes a long way- a toasted bun is so much better…

Spread that “special sauce.” Common! It is special- use it liberally!


The key ingredient~

Then add your burger…Bean burger, that is! With exactly 3, not two, dill pickles and your onions.

Burger and three pickles,and onions

Exactly 3 pickles, and minced onions- the onions, I think are the thing that make this taste super authentic!

Load up the iceburg shreds:

iceburg lettuce

I add a lot to feel healthy- teehee!

And marvel:


Wow. Look what you get to eat.

The Big Bean Mac

Yield: 5 burgers

The Big Bean Mac

This unbelievable re-creation and recipe redux of a very unhealthy burger, will send you to flavor-town! The Bean Mac is your new favorite lunch sandwich!


    Bean burgers
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans
  • 1/2 (or more) bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. taco seasoning
  • 1 egg white
  • The Special Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp 2% greek plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp light mayo
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dill pickle relish- sweet is too sweet
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 2 TBP French dressing
  • Pinch salt
  • Sandwich
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 5 Tbsp. minced onion
  • 15-20 sandwich sliced dill pickles
  • 5 slices cheese- I used thin cheddar slices- orange for authenticity!
  • 5 sesame seed buns


    To make the burgers
  1. Open and pour without draining your black beans into a large bowl. Add one egg white, 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs, 1 Tbsp. taco seasoning. Blend with immersion blender or a potato masher. Add more breadcrumbs if needed, to get a consistency that will form a patty.
  2. Shape 5 patties. Cook on a grill or saute pan, over medium heat, until lightly browned on both sides.
  3. Place one slice of cheese on each patty. Cover until melted. Remove from the pan. Set aside.
  4. For the Sauce
  5. Measure and mix all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
  6. Assemble your sandwich.
  7. On the same pan that you made your burgers, heat a bit of butter, and grill the inside of your buns a bit, to get them toasty. Remove.
  8. Spread the special sauce on both insides of the bun.
  9. Place a bean patty on the bottom half.
  10. On the top half, add three pickles.
  11. Add 1 Tbsp. of minced onion.
  12. Top the burger with the shredded lettuce.
  13. Put the top on.
  14. Yes. You are done. Take it all in. You can now enjoy your Bean Mac.


If you want to make some of this recipe ahead, it is super easy. Make the burgers ahead and freeze them- you can skillet warm them or microwave in minutes. Make the sauce up to one day ahead - it actually improves as it sits for a bit. You can use any bean burger recipe- this is just my fastest!

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Some of you read my posts about sharing coffee, and what we’d chat about…well,

If we were having lunch, today, I would tell you that this is my new favorite sandwich. Hands down. My husband is equally obsessed, which can be a problem! But not too much so, as it is definitely a much improved version of the ugly fast food guy. I hope you try this, and love it as much as we do- lemme know if you do. Take a pic and tag @hardlyagoddess.com!The-Big-Bean-Mac

Sharing, this week with: Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friends Friday, Pin Junkie, Meatless Monday!

Cheese & Sprout Pita Pocket Sandwich

Cheese & Sprout SandwichSometimes it’s the simplest of things.

Cheese & sprouts. But that’s not all. Layered between the creamy Havarti cheese, and crunchy sprouts, is a garlicky, dilly dressing that completely transforms this simple sandwich. You won’t believe how good this is.

Of course, you would believe, if you’ve ever been to Cazenovia, New York circa 1990. If you were, you definitely ate at the now closed restaurant, The Wheatberry. Oh La. I wish that place were still around. It had the most amazing food, and I over the years, I have recreated what I remember of most of their menu. This recipe is inspired by the very first sandwich that they served, from their tiny walk-in place even before it ever became a beautiful full service restaurant.Cheese & Sprout Sandwich

To those of you searching…you’re welcome.

To those of you who didn’t know what you were missing…you’re also welcome. Here’s the recipe as close as I could come to the original by memory:

Cheese & Sprout Pita Pocket Sandwich


  • 1 small container greek plain yogurt- low or full fat only. NOT non-fat (sour)
  • 1 Tbsp mayo
  • 1Tbsp lemon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • pita pockets
  • broccoli sprouts
  • muenster or harvarti cheese slices


    For the sauce:
  1. In a small bowl combine the first 6 ingredients until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Assemble the sandwich
  3. Open the pitas. Smear both sides with the sauce.
  4. Layer in the cheese as desired.
  5. Stuff with sprouts.
  6. Enjoy!
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I cut it or if you used small pitas, just leave them whole if it’s easier to eat.

Cheese & Sprout Sandwich

So delicious! Easy and perfect for any vegetarians, or even just people who love food. I am serious. I would never have thought that my meat loving husband would love this sandwich, but he does. I don’t know if it’s that he feel so virtuous after eating so many sprouts, or whether it’s because the sauce is so flipping good. Either way, this one is a winner in my house.

Your welcome. Enjoy~

I am linking up with #MeatlessMonday  hosted by Powered By BLING, Running on Happy & The Fit Foodie Mama. And over with Deborah at Confessions of a Mother Runner.

Cold Noodles with Asian Peanut Sauce #FoodieExtravaganza

This is one of my favorite recipes. I love leftovers, and somehow a cold peanut noodle salad, tastes like the best kind of leftovers. The tang of soy sauce and ginger and garlic…so good for a quick lunch, and since this takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish, I know you will love it too!

Cold Noodles with Asian Peanut Sauce

Here we are:

Cold Noodles with Asian Peanut Sauce #FoodieExtravaganza


  • 3 cloves of garlic, pressed or finely minced
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. veg. oil
  • 2 Tbsp tamari or good soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • Dash cayenne
  • ¼ tsp tabasco
  • ½ cup smooth, natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 pound linguine (1/2 a box)
  • 1 cup red & yellow peppers sliced into bite-sized pieces


  1. In a large bowl, add the garlic through the tabasco. Whisk together.
  2. Add the peanut butter. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Boil linguine according to package, drain and add to the sauce. Add the peppers and scallions.
  4. Toss to coat it all with the sauce. Garnish with more chopped scallion if you want. Chill & Serve.
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This recipe is very loosely inspired by the Szechwan Noodles in the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (the original one! page. 108)

I say, loosely since I changed quite a bit! The original recipe is fantastic, I just didn’t have all the ingredients that she called for, nor did I want to, so I came up with this version, which is way cheaper, easier to make and just as good!

In case you want to make hers, just know the changes I made:

  • I omitted the tahini, sherry, hot chili oil, sesame oil
  • I changed the process, to hand whisk instead of process it. I halved the recipe to serve 4.
  • I added tabasco, made the peanut butter natural, used cider vinegar instead of sherry vinegar, used tamari instead of soy, powdered ginger instead of fresh.

See? I did say, loosely!

If you are inspired to make any other delicious peanut butter goodies, the bloggers of Foodie Extravaganza are doling out some awesome eats today!

Foodie Extravaganza is a monthly food fest, where a group of bloggers all create and share a recipe around one of the monthly food ‘holidays’ as detailed in The Nibble. This month Sneha from Snehas Recipe is hosting, Peanut Butter is our theme. Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE. Check out these great Peanut Butter submissions!

Homemade Peanut butter Cups from Fearlessly Creative Mammas

Cold Noodles with Asian Peanut Sauce from Hardly a Goddess

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Bars from Palatable Pastime

Peanut Butter Bars with Oatmeal and Chocolate Chips from A Day in the Life on the Farm

Peanut Butter Cookies from Basic N Delicious

Mini Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups from Sneha’s Recipe

West African Peanut Soup from Caroline’s Cooking

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bread from Making Miracles