Monday, May 3, 2010

Black Bean Burgers

Black bean burgers for dinner on a Saturday night. What a cruel way to treat my meat eating man after a tough day of shed building.

You know, he is lucky that I cook at all!

He is lucky that I love him and his heart enough to feed him grease free healthy black bean burgers. 

It's not quite like a burger, but it is really tasty. 

Hearty and filling.

Come on. Give it a try. 

Black Bean Burgers adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman:

15 ounce can of black beans
2 green onions, chopped in half
2 cloves garlic
3 mushrooms
1/2 cup of rolled oats, not quick cooking
1 tablespoon chili powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg

To a food processor add beans, onion, garlic, oats, spices, and egg and pulse until mixture is combined but still chunky.

Let the mixture rest for a few minutes before forming patties. With wet hands form patties and place on a foil lined baking sheet.
See! It looks just like beef. Let the patties rest before cooking. I put these patties in the fridge for a few hours and then let them come to room temperature before cooking.

Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large nonstick skillet. Over medium heat cook the bean burgers until the burgers are browned and firm on each side. About 4 minutes on each side.

Great shot! It was late in the day and if I recall correctly I had two beers before dinner.

But who's counting?

I figure with all the calories I'm giving up by eating a bean patty that a girl deserve a beer or two.

Or three.

And cheese, of course!

I refuse to have a burger without cheese. What is a burger without cheese?

Extra sharp white cheddar. favorite food! Ever! YUM!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Crunchy Granola

My latest cookbook obsession is with Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.  Lately I have been trying to cook healthier and include more vegetables and less meat into our diet.

Luckily, I married a man that isn't all about meat and potatoes, and he will eat whatever is in front of him with an open mind. I will still have a cheeseburger or steak from time to time. I am not giving up meat, I just don't  feel I need it present at dinner every night to be satisfied.

My adventures into flexitarianism. Bittman writes that the term "flexitarian" is  used to describe meat eaters who eat mostly vegetables and vegetarians who aren't strictly vegan. Bittman writes in his book about the health benefits of eating less meat and his own experiences as a flexitarian and his resulting weight loss.

 Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian is definitely on my list of must have books to add to my library. The recipes are straight forward practical recipes for delicious, healthy cooking. Currently I am borrowing the book from the MLP. Definitely one of my favorite things to do is to check out cookbooks from the public library and, fortunately for me, my library has quite the cookbook collection.

Earlier this week I made Crunchy Granola from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. The recipe is fast and simple. In the book there are flavor variations and a recipe for granola bars. I made the basic granola. We have eaten it as a snack, for breakfast with milk poured over it, and as a parfait with chopped bananas and yogurt. Yum!

Crunchy Granola

6 cups rolled oats (not instant or quick cooking)
1 cup of pecan halves
1 cup of sliced almonds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup honey
1 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 300.

Place a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the oatmeal to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. The oatmeal will become toasty and fragrant.

Add the pecans and the almonds and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add the cinnamon, salt and honey and stir to combine.

Transfer the mixture to a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring  twice during baking.

Stir in raisins and let the granola cool on a rack.

Store the granola in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

The recipe states that this granola will last indefinitely, but this granola is so tasty that I can't imagine it  lasting for more than a week. I'm almost ready to make another batch just to have around next week. It makes for a healthy snack and a satisfying breakfast. 

Have you ever had the cereal Great Grains? I used to love Great Grains and this is it...except better! It tastes so much better than that boxed stuff and even more so because I know exactly what is in it. I love cereal. I grew up eating boxed cereal and still love it. Or at least thought I did. I like it when I've worked late and just want something to settle that hunger before I go to sleep.

And it does wonders soaking up the tequila.

But...I'm changing my ways.
After having crunchy granola around...I may never buy that boxed stuff again! 

Really. It's that good.