Summer is right around the corner, I swear! It’s still chilly and kinda gloomy in my neck of the woods, but I can feel the sunshiny days and warmer temps headed our way.
Before we drool over this brand new Caprese Sliders recipe (which I’m gaga for, by the way!), I want to give you a gentle reminder about presence.
After I wrote the first line of this post about summer coming, a lightbulb went off. There I was wishing for the future rather than enjoying what’s right here, right now. Don’t get me wrong—I’m an advocate of daydreaming, wishing, hoping, praying and goal-setting of all kinds. That kind of thinking can be exciting and uplifting in so many ways. But when it takes us out of the present moment too often, we can miss some pretty amazing stuff…
Like how pretty our precious planet is, no matter the weather. And how lucky we are to have the people and fur friends who adore us. And don’t forget about our incredible bodies and what they do every single day to allow our souls to experience this life. It’s the little things, too—the first sip of our morning tea, the way our favorite socks feel on our feet and our capacity to make someone else feel better with just a few kind words.
So why did I keep that first line if it goes against the point I’m trying to make here? Well, I’m a gal full of contradictions, what can I say? Just kidding! In truth, I kept it because I think it’s an important reminder that when it comes to mindfulness and presence, no one is perfect. The best thing we can do is to simply notice when we’re future-tripping or hanging out in the past. Judging ourselves for getting out of alignment is counter-productive, so please don’t do it to your sweet self! Just notice.
Wherever you are in the world (shout out to all of our wonderful friends in the southern hemisphere!), I hope you’ll remember that summer is a state of mind. Notice your thoughts. Choose them wisely. Honor today. And remember that you’re enough now—not tomorrow, not “when”—now.
Speaking of enjoying what’s right here in front of us, let’s talk about this juicy, fresh, flavorful, FUN sliders recipe. When the Test Kitchen Tuesday crew told me what they were cooking up, I couldn’t wait to try it. And of course, the end result totally blew me away!
These Caprese Sliders with Melty Mozz Sauce are so creative and full of flavor. They also feature some of my favorite plant-based ingredients, such as lentils, cashews, miso and tomatoes (no worries if you’re soy, nightshade or nut-free—we’ve got subs for you in the notes!). You can serve them as a snack or with a side to make it a full meal. I think some grilled asparagus or corn on the cob would be the perfect compliment!
Have a gathering coming up? Double (or triple!) this sliders recipe and share with your favorite peeps. They’re pretty quick and simple to put together, so you can impress your friends without tons of prep work or hours spent in the kitchen. Easy and out-of-this-world delish… sounds like a good deal to me!
Alright, ready to cook up this amazing sliders recipe? Bon appetit!
Mini Vegan Caprese Sliders with Melty Mozz Sauce
Serves 4 (4 sliders per serving) | Prep time: 30 min | Cook time: 35 min
Red Lentil Patty Ingredients:
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
½ red onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup (14 g) julienned sun-dried tomatoes
½ cup (96 g) red lentils, thoroughly rinsed
1 cup (240 ml) low-sodium vegetable stock
1 ½ tsp balsamic vinegar
½ cup (40 g) rolled oats
¼ tsp smoked paprika (optional)
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp salt, or to taste
¼ cup (6 g) fresh basil, chopped
Melty Mozz Sauce Ingredients:
½ cup (60 g) raw cashews
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp (90 ml) water
1 ½ tsp lemon juice
1 ½ tsp white miso paste
1 ½ tsp nutritional yeast
12-16 Campari tomatoes, halved and seeded
Fresh basil leaves (optional)
1. In a medium saucepan, add 1 Tbsp olive oil and sauté the onion, carrot and garlic over medium heat. Cook for 8-10 min, until the vegetables are aromatic, softened and golden all over.
2. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, lentils, broth and vinegar. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Gently simmer until the lentils are fully cooked and all the liquid has been absorbed (12-18 min). Let cool for at least 15 min.
3. Meanwhile, place the oats in a food processor or high-speed blender and pulse until finely ground. Add paprika, cumin, ½ tsp salt and fresh basil. Pulse to incorporate. Adjust seasoning to taste with more salt if desired.
4. Combine the oat and spice mixture with the lentil and sun-dried tomato mixture from step 2. If desired, use a food processor or high-speed blender to combine, but the mixture should be fairly coarse, not a smooth purée. Transfer to an airtight container and let sit in the refrigerator for an hour (or 20 min in the freezer) before proceeding.
5. Prepare the melty mozz sauce in the meantime. Place all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor, and thoroughly purée for 4-5 min, until completely smooth.
6. When ready to cook, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat with the remaining tablespoon of oil. With damp hands, shape heaping tablespoons of the patty mixture into balls about the width of your Campari tomatoes, and flatten slightly. Cook for 1-2 min on each side, until browned.
7. To assemble, place one patty on the cut side of one Campari tomato, stem end-down so they don’t roll away. Top with a heaping teaspoon or so of the melty mozz sauce, and finish with other half of the tomato and a leaf of fresh basil. Use toothpicks to secure if needed. Serve immediately.
Storage tip: Finished patties can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Melty mozz sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Simplify this recipe: Use small squares of prepared plant-based cheese (such as Field Roast Chao or Follow Your Heart) instead of the melty mozz sauce.
Reheating tip: Reheat patties in a nonstick skillet over medium heat for 1-2 minutes on each side, until re-crisped and warm all the way through.
Make it soy-free: Use chickpea miso paste instead of white miso paste.
Make it nut-free: Replace cashews with raw sunflower seeds.
Nightshade-free: Omit sun-dried tomatoes and serve patties on ¼-in rounds of seedless cucumbers instead of tomatoes.
Nut soak note: If you have a high-speed blender, you can skip soaking your nuts or seeds. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, you can either soak your nuts or seeds in water for 4 hours, or you can do a “quick soak” by covering them with water in a pot and bringing it to a boil. Once the water boils, remove them from the heat and let them sit for an hour.
Are you in the club?
What club, you ask?! The Crazy Sexy Recipe Club, of course! I’ve gotta be honest—if you haven’t joined this awesome group yet, you’re missing out. This week, club members got a gorgeous new Caprese Sliders recipe card, plus a bunch of insider tips and info. If you love cookbooks and playing in the kitchen, you’ve gotta get in on this!