Regina Hanel, Author
Creating Stories About Powerful Women and Love



<>Veggie Corner 

My partner and I became vegetarians in October 2007. Surprisingly, giving up meat increased the variety of food we eat and we’re always looking for new recipes.  If you have a tasty vegetarian recipe you’d like to share, please e-mail me through the Contacts page so I can post it here for everyone to enjoy.

Butter Bean Burgers (makes about 6-8 burgers depending on size you like).    

2 cans of butter beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1 med onion (chopped fine)

1 tsp garlic powder

12 saltine crackers, crushed

1-2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno (optional)

1 egg, beaten

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

pepper to taste

1/4 cup grapeseed (or vegetable) oil 

In a bowl, mash the butter beans. Mix in the onion, cheddar cheese, egg, crackers, garlic powder, pepper, & optional ingredients. Divide and press into patties. Heat oil in skillet first over medium heat, add patties, and fry until golden brown. Add more oil as needed. Patties go well with sweet corn. :-)


Pistachio Pasta Salad

1 1/2 cups unsalted green pistachios, shelled & chopped fine by hand or food processor

5 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving

1/2 cup grated Romano cheese

1 lb. orecchietta pasta

4 scallions, thinly sliced

Bring water to boil. In the meantime, toss the pistachios with garlic and olive oil in a small mixing bowl to create a pesto. Add cheese and combine again. Cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining. Drain the pasta, then return to the pot over low heat. Add the pesto mixture and the reserved pasta water, heat, and toss constantly until the orecchietta are coated. Transfer to bowl or serving dish and garnish with scallions & additional sprinkle of olive oil. (Serves 6)


Hot Pepper Broccoli and Fusilli

1/2 cup olive oil

1pound tri-color fusilli

1 bag frozen broccoli florets, thawed, rinsed, and drained

3 carrots, chopped fine

1 small onion, chopped fine

6 large garlic cloves, chopped fine

1 ½ teaspoons rinsed and drained capers

3/4-1 cup low sodium vegetable broth

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if you want it hotter, but it has punch already)

1/2 cup freshly grated romano cheese


Heat olive oil in a deep skillet and sauté the onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Add carrots and capers and cook 2 minutes longer. Add vegetable broth and red pepper flakes. Cook slowly for about 5 minutes. In the meantime, heat the water for the fusilli in a separate pot and cook pasta. Add broccoli to the skillet and cook another 5 minutes. When the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the skillet along with half the cheese. Stir well and serve. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the pasta on your plate. Dish goes nicely with red wine.

<>Roasted Winter Squash and Apple Soup (From The Healthy Kitchen by Andrew Weil, M.D. and Rosie Daley)

1 large winter squash (about 2 1/2 lbs), such as butternut, buttercup, or kabocha, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2" pieces

2medium onions

3 cloves garlic, peeled

2 tart, firm apples, peeled, cored, and quartered

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and red chili powder to taste

4-5 cups vegetable stock

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large roasting pan, toss the squash, onions, garlic, and apples with the oil to coat. Season well with the salt and chili powder. Roast, stirring every 10 minutes, until the vegetables are fork-tender and lightly browned, about 40 minutes. Put half of the vegetables with 2 cups of the stock in a food processor and puree until smooth. Repeat with the remaining vegetables and broth. Return pureed mixture to the pot. If the soup is too thick, add more broth. Correct the seasoning and heat to a simmer. Serve in warm bowls with dollops of Cilantro Walnut Pesto (see below).

Cilantro Walnut Pesto (From The Healthy Kitchen by Andrew Weil, M.D. and Rosie Daley)

1 cup walnut pieces

2 cups cilantro leaves, stems removed

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1/4 cup purifed water (approximate)

Put the walnuts in a food processor and grind them fine. Add the cilantro, jalapeno pepper, salt, vinegar, and 2-3 tablespoons of the water and blend. Blend in a little more water if necessary to make a thick sauce. Taste and correct the seasoning, adding more salt if necessary. Keep any leftover pesto in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container and use as a dip or spread.

P.S. Since I'm not fond of cilantro, I substitute basil and it tastes just fine too.


Pecan Burgers (makes 3-4 burgers depending on size you like). I found this recipe on the internet about two years ago under the title Vegetarian Nutballs, but don’t know who the originator was or what the website was. Thanks to this person for posting though, because this is a great recipe.

2 eggs (beaten)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 large or 1 med onion (chopped fine)

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup ground Pecans

3/4 cup Italian Bread Crumbs

Mix everything together. Divide into equal parts. Make large ball, then pat into a "hamburger" pattie. Fry slowly in a couple of tablespoons light olive oil (med-low setting around 3 or 4 on scale of 10) for about 6 min. per side or until nice and browned. That's it! You can also make these into nutballs and put them in spaghetti sauce. Just make smaller balls, fry them slowly until brown on all sides and then cook in the spaghetti sauce.


Cannellini-Avocado Bean Wrap (Makes 4 wraps).

2 cans cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)

2 ripe avocados (peeled and pit removed)

1 med onion (cut in half and halves sliced fine)

1 jar banana pepper rings (4-5 rings per wrap)

red leaf lettuce (1-2 leaves per wrap washed & patted dry)

ground black pepper (optional)

Mash the cannellini beans and avocados together to form a paste-like consistency. Spread 1/4 of the mixture on each wrap. Add 1/4 of the onion slices and pepper rings to each wrap. Sprinkle with pepper (optional and to taste). Add lettuce. Wrap up and enjoy!