Comforting and filing without being too heavy leaving room for football food and plenty of pumpkin everything, these burgers are up to the challenge! Fall is here. And the stuffing of my face with yummy things is coming. Not all the things are bad things, but not all the things are exactly good things either. In a vain attempt to have good things to put in my mouth that don’t involve the words “homemade macaroni and cheese” I was rummaging through my freezer to make room for other things and came across a bag of frozen black beans. Hmmmmm…..brain…..thinks……
Now before I get ahead of myself: the beans in the freezer–I have been trying to buy dry beans, soak them, use what I need and freeze the rest. It’s cheaper to do this and the beans freeze really well. I made a batch of turkey chili, using kidney beans I’d soaked and froze a bag for something fun later. I had the bag of black beans in the freezer since March and there was no freezer burn on them and they had not dried out or didn’t disintegrate when I defrosted them. A great way to maximize the dollars. I get a bag of beans for $1.25 or just one 16 oz. can for the same price for half of the product. No brainer. You can soak almost anything overnight with little effort if you’re worried about your time costing money.
Back to ma’burgers. I was craving them. The local watering hole makes one hell of a black bean burger and I wanted some. I make these and will sometimes throw in some tuna, feta, and black olives, but this time around, I wanted straight up burger. If you don’t have any greek seasoning (I make my own & store), you can check out your own recipe online to help you out. I’m not the boss of you. You know how to cook. I know it! If you like your burgers a little mushier, cut the bread crumbs by half. If you like a drier consistency, stick with the half cup.
30 min. total
- 2 cans (32 oz) black beans, drained
- 1/2 medium onion (cut in chunks)
- 1/2 bell pepper (cut into chunks)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 2 tsp. greek seasoning
- olive oil
- Put the onion, green pepper, and garlic in the food processor (or chop them ultra fine if you don’t have a food processor) and pulse until finely chopped.
- Add in the bread crumbs, egg, salt, pepper, greek seasoning and the black beans.
- Pulse until combined and chunky, don’t pulverize the beans.
- Turn out the mixture and hand mix if necessary to make sure everything is mixed well. You want to see some of the beans!
- Shape into patties. This recipe will make 4-5 very good sized patties.
- In a skillet on medium heat, saute the patties in olive oil until brown on each side, 4-5 min. on each side.
- Serve or store for quick lunches. These also freeze nicely.
Half whole wheat, half amazing! No kneading necessary to make this soon to be family favorite! I started with the recipe from budget bytes and was intrigued by the notion of a pizza hut like pan pizza. All I can think of it the “book it” program that we participated in as kids. Read books, get a personal pan pizza as a reward! Mom and dad got a cheap night out and the kids ate for free as a reward. Pretty much the best thing ever as a kid. Yeah….pretty much 😀
I beefed up the crust with half whole wheat, half AP flour and used a little more yeast to help balance out the ‘weight’ of the whole wheat flour. Let the crust grow and expand all day (or the day before) and when you’re ready, plop it into a 10 or 12 inch skillet that greased and you’ll have an amazing crust with melty cheese and toppings. shutthefrontdoor. I need to go make another pizza. You can cut the dough into two or three smaller “personal” pan pizza sizes that’s great for the kids or for ‘make your own’ night.
12 hours (rise time kids)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup warm water (90-110 degrees F)
- 1/2 teaspoon fast rising yeast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil + more to coat the dough
- *optional: garlic powder and/or italian seasoning
- Bloom the yeast in the warm water. Sprinkle it over the top of the water and set aside for 3-5 minutes to wake it up.
- In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, salt, and the two tablespoons olive oil with a whisk just until combined.
- Form a well in the middle of the bowl and pour the yeast mixture in.
- Fold the flour and yeast mixture together just until combined.
- The mass should be sticky but should clean away from the edge of the bowl.
- Pour some more olive oil into the bowl to coat the dough.
- Cover with plastic wrap and set on the counter so the gluten will develop and you don’t have to knead it!
- When it’s pizza time, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Take your skillet and coat the bottom with oil. You can roll it around or use a paper towel to distribute.
- Flip the dough out of the bowl into the skillet.
- Press to fit with your fingers. Sprinkle garlic powder and italian seasoning to give it some more flavor.
- Dress it up any way you want all the way to the edge! Sauce, cheese, all the toppings….I mean ALL THE TOPPINGS!!!
- Bake for 18-22 minutes until the cheese is bubbley and golden brown.
Grilled Flatbread Pizza
Summer produce cannot be beat. The magic of a perfectly ripened peach is something that is simply divine and an almost religious experience. Paired with some creamy, smooth fresh mozzarella, and the bite of some fresh basil makes peaches my number one summer fruit right now.
No matter how food technology improves, there’s nothing better than biting into a ripe, juicy peach or a fresh ear of sweet corn. Tomatoes, cukes, berries, beans, etc…a whole plethora of goods are marching into my door to never come out 😛
I picked up some beautiful, fresh, fuzzy Virginia peaches on a visit to the farmers market and gave them a few days to ripen on the counter. Once they were firm but not soft, I dug in. Fresh mozzarella, juicy sliced peaches, and basil from my garden made the perfect triple threat. It’s filling enough to serve as the main course, classy enough to serve to company, and light enough for a summer cook out. You can cut everything into chunks for easier serving and Chiffonade basil in right before serving. Adding some olive oil or balsamic vinegar can add a nice level of acidity but it will make it get soggy faster.
- 2 ripe peaches
1 1 lb. ball of fresh mozzarella
5-6 fresh basil leaves
**optional: olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- Slice peaches and remove pit.
- Slice thin slices of mozzarella.
- Layer together however it makes you happy.
- Chiffonade the basil and sprinkle right before serving.
- Drizzle with olive oil or balsamic.
Beet & Tomato Salad
Balsamic Green Beans with Tomatoes
Posted in Appetizers, Gluten free, Main Course, Side dishes, Uncategorized, Vegetarian
- Tagged appetizer, basil, caprese, fresh mozzarella, mozzarella, peaches, ripe peaches, salad
You’ll love this because it’s so versatile, can come together for a fast meal or a slow and lazy weekend, and will make use of the leftover baked potatoes & brats from summer cook outs. While I love some summer cook out food, there always seems to be an abundance of leftovers, which I’m sure has nothing to do with the sheer amount of food that gets cooked or because the chef is a bad cook. Our eyes are just too big for our stomachs.
You don’t have to use pork–chicken, sausage, venison, or any kind of sausage will do. Potatoes are relatively inexpensive so this dish doesn’t have to cost and arm and leg for you to put together. This also reheats nicely in case you need a quick lunch or a meal on the go. Add a fried egg for a delicious breakfast or enjoy it straight up. It can be made in advance and just tossed again to heat it up and no one will know you didn’t get up at the crack of dawn or stay home all day making this dish. Seriously: I love this stuff.
Hash is one of my happy places in life. There’s nothing that doesn’t go with potatoes and a runny fried egg. Except maybe some ketchup and Sriracha! Now we’re talking……
New York is famous for having ‘salt potatoes’ at every function and you can always count on a dish of them left over, making them perfect for this dish.
I chopped everything up and went to town in my skillet. Two runny fried eggs made this the perfect supper and the leftovers served as lunch for a few days and at least one more fried egg supper. I never met an egg I didn’t like 🙂
30 min. (tops)
- 1 lb. sausage of choice (I had links & cut them up)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cups potatoes, diced/cubed & cooked
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- salt/pepper to taste
- a pat or two of butter
- some runny fried eggs! 😀
- In a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.
- Add the onion, potatoes, garlic, rosemary, and green pepper; cook until tender.
- Reduce heat; cook and stir for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and heated through.
- Longer if you like a nice crust on your hash like I do.
Bacon Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
Posted in Breakfast, Main Course, Pork, Side dishes
- Tagged breakfast, cook outs, eggs, fried egg, hash, potatoes, salt potatoes, sausage
These veggie “noodles” are hearty enough to hold sauce, super easy to make, and can add some extra servings of veggies in your diet! Spring is here, produce is showing back up at the farmers market and we’re all eating lighter, a bit healthier, and enjoying the longer days with endless sunshine.
I had seen Skinnytaste making some amazing veggie noodles with her fancy gadget. A search on the all knowing Internet revealed I had several choices in gadget and I chose to buy the $10 solution–I’m not that hardcore and who knows what else I can do with it?
I bought the OXO Good Grips Julienne Peeler and hit the grocery store for some carrots and zucchini for noodle magic. To put this in one word: IMPRESSED. This gadget made me beautiful noodles in no time flat. Two standard sized carrots and one small zucchini yielded about two cups of noodles. I blanched them for about two min. to heat them through and put some of my favorite healthy sauce on them.
yields about 2 cups noodles
- 2 medium to large carrots, peeled
- 1 medium zucchini, washed
- Using the Julienne peeler, hold the veggie down on a cutting board and fun the length of it with the peeler. Remove the noodles, breaking them up if they’re attached to each other.
- In boiling water, blanch for two minutes (maybe three at most) to soften the noodles and heat through.
- Strain in a colander to remove water.
- Serve hot with your favorite sauce!
- Tip: I made a large batch and also cooked 1/4 lb of spaghetti, cooking the veggie noodles with the pasta the last few minutes. I ate less of the real pasta, more vegetables and didn’t notice what I was missing: carbs and cals!
Healthy Alfredo Sauce
Spinach Cilantro Alfredo Sauce
Stir fry is a quick and easy weeknight meal when you need to have some chow on the table pronto! You’ll love this because you can use various cuts of meat (or go meatless and stir fry veggies) because the star is the hot and spicy sauce! If you don’t like the spice, cut back on the chili paste and sriracha. If you like them, add more! I love hot and spicy food, so I’m usually ‘all in’ you could say.
I put this together after taking a two pound piece of pork roast out of the freezer. I prepped half of it for the oven to roast using my Mema’s recipe because it’s so good! As someone who lives alone, two pounds would have been too much of ‘the same thing’ would cause me to not eat it, so I took the other half…..and stared at it…..and then I opened my fridge and stared inside of it…..and realized I needed some spice. I’d been seeing all of these homemade orange chicken recipes on Pinterest but orange chicken isn’t my favorite, I prefer to just skip to the spice. The cornstarch and flour mixture gave the pork a nice coating on it without deep frying it. I pat myself on the back and picked up my chopsticks!
- 1-2 lbs. pork (loin, chop, sirloin) cut into bit sized pieces
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped fine
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce (i use low sodium)
- 2 teaspoons chili paste
- 1-2 teaspoons sriracha
- 2 tablespoons duck sauce
- vegetables of choice
- Mix flour, cornstarch, and garlic powder together and toss cut pork to coat all the pieces. You can do this on a plate, in a bowl, or in a plastic bag.
- Heat a pan on medium high heat. Add enough oil to stir fry the pork, onion, and garlic.
- Fry the three ingredients together until the pork is cooked through, 5-10 minutes, depending on how big the pork pieces are.
- Combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, chili paste, duck sauce, and sriracha together in a small bowl and pour over the cooked pork.
- Toss to coat and add in vegetables at the very end to heat through.
- Serve with vegetables over rice.
Quick & Easy Korean Beef
For the days when you’re too busy, too lazy, or out of inspiration. Frozen ravioli’s to the rescue!!!! You’ll love this because you can make it ahead and pop it in the oven when you’re ready, it’s A LOT less work than traditional lasagna, and it tastes just as good!
Seriously: make this now. Or wait until you know you’re going to be swamped and enjoy your life! I made it in the morning, popped it in the fridge for the day, came home that night-pre-heated the oven and threw it in for an hour. Life was good when it came out hot and bubbling. Tasted fantastic too and there was no other ‘dishes’ for dinner. This reheats really well for lunches and other meals and fear not: a little more sauce if yours dries out a bit.
- 1 bag (I had a 1.8 lb bag w some leftovers) cheese ravioli
- 1 jar (approximately 2-3 cups) spaghetti sauce
- 1 cup mozzarrella cheese
- 1/2 lb cooked sausage of choice (feel free to omit if vegetarian)
- non-stick spray
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray bottom of 8×8 pan with non-stick spray.
- Layer ravioli, sauce, cheese, and meat.
- Repeat at least twice.
- Top with sauce and cheese.
- Cook for about 50 minutes or until hot and cooked through.
- Serve hot and delicious!
Bacon Macaroni & Cheese
Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup