recipes

DIY veggie burgers… the basics

All this newly found information about the pink goo that McDonald’s had in their burgers is surely getting some folks more interested in finding out the facts about what is in the food we are consuming. I have to say it is pretty disgusting what the FDA will allow … The good news is that the more we find out, the more we want to eliminate the crap and make out own food and often meat products. The bad news is that just eliminating meat isn’t going to cut the crap, so to speak. Many vegetarian alternatives are just as processed. So .. by popular demand, here is a basic veggie (bean ) burger you can easily make at home…..

Ingredients:

2 cans beans ( your choice, I often use kidney. even better, use organic)

2 eggs, beaten

a good pinch of sea salt

a good pinch of black pepper

dry oatmeal (about a cup )

1 cup fresh spinach

olive oil

what you will do:

1.preheat oven to 375

2. drain and rinse beans

3. mash beans… you can do this by hand, or in a food processor. If using a food processor, add a little olive oil and a splash of water to help out!

4. Mix remaining ingredients together with the beans. The mixture should be wet, but not runny. If it seems too wet, add more oatmeal.

5. Now , here is the messy part! Using your hands make patties … the size is really a personal preference, but thinner patties cook faster and stay together better…..

6. Place patties on cookie sheet and lightly coat the top with olive oil. sprinkle lightly with sea salt

7. Place patties in oven. Cooking time will vary , depending on the patty size, but for me it is about 45 minutes. When the patties begin to look crisp on the outside, carefully flip over and coat the other side with olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt, place back in oven until crisp.

Ta-da! you just made veggie burgers!!!  Now you can add other ingredients to the mix!

suggestions and some of my favorites:

diced mushrooms, feta cheese, garlic, fresh rosemary, onions, chopped black olives,  shredded carrots, water chestnuts….

 

 

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Blueberry Pie with Rosemary

If you’re looking for a little twist on the ordinary for your holiday gatherings, or just an easy weeknight desert, this is sure to be a winner!

Blueberry & Rosemary Pie Recipe

Filling ingredients:

  • 6 cups of fresh (or frozen) blueberries, rinsed and stems removed (if using frozen, defrost and drain first)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon  or orange zest
  • 3/4 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon  vanilla
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (3/4 cup if using frozen blueberries)
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar  (* if you like your pie on the sweeter side, use 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • dash of sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp butter (unsalted), cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
crust:
  • 2 frozen roll out pie crusts ( and kudos to you if you want to make your own!)

Egg wash ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk

what to do:

1  Unroll 1 pie crust into pie pan and press into edges.  (Be careful, they can tear easily)

Gently mix  all ingredients, except butter and crust  (this includes : blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, lemon or orange zest, salt ,rosemary,  vanilla and lemon juice )in a large bowl. Transfer them to the  crust in the pie pan. Dot with butter pieces. Roll out remaining dough. Place on top of the berry filling. Tuck the top dough over and under the edge of the bottom dough, and crimp the edges with your fingers. Cut a small (nickel size) hole in the center of the pie crust (so steam can escape while cooking). Transfer the pie to the refrigerator to chill until the dough is firm, about 30 minutes. Heat oven to 425°F.

3  Whisk egg and milk together to make an egg wash.

4  Remove the unbaked pie from refrigerator. Brush the top with egg wash.. Place the pie on the middle rack of the oven with a parchment paper or Silpat lined baking pan positioned on the lower rack to catch any filling that may bubble over. Bake for 20 minutes at 425°. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes more or until juices are bubbling and have thickened. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before serving.

fantastic with vanilla ice cream!!!

Makes 8 servings.

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Oven Dried Tomatoes

oven dried tomatoes

oven dried tomatoes

This year I got a beautiful bounty of tomatoes with out much gardening effort. Most of my plants came up on their own from the seeds of the “no good” fruit that I left on the ground last summer. I don’t like to see good food go to waste, so I have been canning, freezing and now oven drying tomatoes for the last 6 weeks. This oven drying preservation, is my personal favorite, considering the ease of the process and the wonderful richness and sweetness it brings out in flavor. Here’s how (and believe me, it is EASY!)

What you will need:

tomatoes ( i used small ones from my sweet 100’s , which are my absolute favorites to grow.)

baking sheet

an oven

parchment paper or silicone baking mat

sea salt

What you will do:

turn oven on to LOWEST heat setting, whether this is 100 or 200, you want to dry them out SLOWLY over a long period of time

place parchment paper or silicone mat on baking sheet

slice tomatoes in half

lay tomato halves, skin side down, on your paper or mat, making sure they are not touching each other

sprinkle with sea salt                  

place in oven and bake for 6-8 hours, or really depending on how long it takes. And I am not going to lie to you, IT DOES TAKE A LONG TIME. So be patient.

Check every hour or so to MAKE SURE THEY DON”T BURN, but are completely dry.

You can store them in the fridge for about a month, or in the freezer for about 6 months.

That’s it. You’re done. I’m addicted and want to eat them on everything now, so I’m off to make some more……..

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Shrimp & Avacado pico

  Here is a simple, fresh, & versatile recipe

Shrimp & Avacado Pico

                                                                 what you will need:

*1 ripe but firm AVACADO

*1 cup prepared SHRIMP

( **see below for shrimp prep)

*1/3 cup diced white or red ONION

* 1 diced TOMATO

* 1 tbs fresh LIME JUICE

*1/2 cup chopped fresh CILANTRO

* 1 good pinch SEA SALT

*1/2 tbs ground CUMIN

(preferable freshly

ground from whole seeds)

*1 chopped JALAPENO                                                                                                (if desired)

                                     what you will do:

(**shrimp prep: peel and clean raw shrimp. Boil a small pot of

water with 1 tbs lemon juice and 1 tbs old bay seasoning. Boil shrimp, remove from heat using a slotted spoon once it turns a light pink color and immediately place in a bowl of ice water. Let chill for 10 minutes – you can do this while you are chopping other ingredients- Once chilled, chop each shrmp into 3 peices)

*In a bowl add CUMIN, SALT , & CILANTO  to the AVACADO. Toss GENTLY. Add all other ingredients and toss GENTLY once more.

that’s it. you’re done.

serve atop tacos, burritos ,  ENCHILADAS,  or with CHIPS.                  ENJOY!!!

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side dish: broccoli and white beans with rice

I created this as a side dish, but it could easily be served as a great vegetarian entree!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs broccoli (I use frozen. It tastes great and frozen food can hold more vitamins                          than fresh!!)
  • 1- 15oz can navy beans
  • 1- 15 oz can great northern beans
  • 1 1/2 cups dry  white rice
  • 1/2 white onion – diced
  • 2 cloves garlic- diced
  • 8 ounces  extra sharp cheddar- shredded
  • 2 cups milk (maybe more)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • crushed red pepper
  • 1 habanero, if desired

Instructions:

In a small sauce pot bring 3 cups water to a boil . Add white rice. (do not cook all the way through. When rice is al dente , you will add it to the other ingredients)

meanwhile, add olive oil and butter in a stock pot. Once butter is melted, add garlic and onion. Saute over medium heat until onion starts to sweat out. Add Broccoli. Continue to saute until the broccoli is all the way heated. Add the al dente rice, 2 cups of milk, and the rest of the remaining ingredients. Stir often until cheese is melted and all of the ingredients are blended well. You may need to add a little more milk as you go…. Consistency should be creamy but not wet.

Serve as a side dish or as a balanced vegetarian entree!

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Cabbage Bowl

cabbage bowl for the super bowl

I saw this idea in a magazine while waiting in line at the grocery store. I instantly fell in love with the idea. My mom made it for our super bowl party .It was a  Big Hit!

Just cut out the inside of a clean head of cabbage to make a bowl and fill with dip!

We are going to do it with purple cabbage too.

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chips for dips

Here’s a simple way to bake and season corn tortillas to make a very yummy chip. (just ask my husband, he is hooked!) They make a perfect side to go with the spinach enchiladas!

what you will need:

  • small corn tortillas (about 1/3 of  package or roughly 10 tortillas)
  • 1 tbs. canola oil
  • ground cumin (i use a spice grinder to grind my own)
  • granulated tomato chicken boullion (i find this in the international/mexican food section of the grocery store)*** you can easily substitute plain, or garlic salt for vegetarian/ vegan options
  • cookie sheet
  • large mixing bowl

what you will do:

  1. preheat oven to 400o
  2. cut tortillas in to 8 triangle sections (like a pie)
  3. place in mixing bowl
  4. add canola oil and toss gently until coated (i like to use tongs to keep my hands clean)
  5. place on cookie sheet in single layer (it is ok to overlap some, but the more space they have the better and cripier they cook)
  6. sprinkle with ground cumin and the tomato-chicken bouillon
  7. place in oven and bake 10 minutes
  8. remove from oven and rearrange (again, the tongs work great)
  9. place back in oven and bake about 6 more minutes or until crispy
  10. serve immediately with your favorite dips



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spinach enchiladas

easy spinach enchiladas

Here is one of my own recipes: Spinach enchiladas. *** You can add cooked chicken, , mushrooms, onions, or any of your favorite Mexican food ingredients to these to give them your personal touch. ( We like ours with mushrooms!)

Although it looks like there are a lot of step, I created these with “easy” in mind. I promise that is what they are. Enjoy!

what you will need:

  • large rectangular glass oven safe cookware.
  • 1 block 1/3 less fat plain cream cheese
  • about 10 ounces shredded colby -jack cheese (I buy block and shred my own.)
  • large size ( burrito) flour tortillas
  • 2 -16oz. packs frozen chopped spinach
  • 1- 16oz jar taco sauce
  • 2 packages enchilada sauce mix ( like McCormick)

topping suggestions: black olives, green onions, diced jalapenos, sour cream

makes 6 enchiladas

  1. preheat oven to 425*
  2. grease bottom of cooking dish (about 1 tbs. canola oil works great)
  3. thaw and drain spinach well
  4. prepare 1 package enchilada sauce according to package, substituting 16 oz. taco sauce for tomato sauce.
  5. spoon a little bit of sauce into bottom of cooking dish, spread evenly
  6. divide colbly-jack cheese into 2 bowls- half in each
  7. layer onto the center of each tortilla: 1/6 cream cheese, 1/6 spinach, (***this is when you would add other ingredients to the layering), and 1/6 from one of the bowls of colby-jack
  8. open the other package of enchilada sauce mix and spoon about 1/2 tsp of the mixture onto the other ingredients on each of the tortillas (you will have about 1/2 the package left over)
  9. wrap tightly , folding both ends in.
  10. place enchiladas side by side in pan
  11. spoon sauce half of the sauce over the top, making sure to let some seep down between each one (this will make them easier to remove)
  12. cover and bake for about 15 minutes.
  13. remove from oven and sprinkle remaining colby-jack cheese onto the top of each one.
  14. re-cover and bake for 10 more minutes
  15. remove from oven

To serve: divide remaining sauce onto plates and with a spatula, carefully remove each enchilada and place on sauce.

Top with green onions, black olives, sliced jalapenos, and sour cream ( if desired)


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leftover halloween candy cookies (no eggs needed!)

After all of the fuss over food during the holidays, I have been trying to be a good girl and cut back on -at least- sweets.I am going to be completely honest with you…. this is NOT an easy thing for me to do. I have been doing very well, except for about a week ago, my husband (who also has a sweet tooth , but will continue to deny it) jokingly , told me that I forgot to make chocolate chip cookies after dinner one night. I was not able to stop thinking about homemade chocolate chip cookies after that. BUT! I refused to buy what I needed to make them… and then the craving finally won!

So… the other night I went into the kitchen to see what I could come up with for cookies. I had only a small amount of chocolate chips,( but quite a bit of leftover chocolate Halloween candy), flour, sugar (brown & white), butter, salt, raisins, and oatmeal. But wait! NO EGGS!  I decided to look up cookie recipes that don’t call for eggs. I merged a few together, changed some things around, and came up with this!

DELICIOUS (LEFTOVER) CANDY COOKIES !
  • 1/2 stick butter (softened)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups old fashioned oat meal
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 1/2 mixed crushed candy bars ( i used snickers, milky way, 3 musketeers , and m&m’s –do not crush the m&m’s)

Directions:

  1. Beat butter or margarine, sugars and vanilla together until they are light and fluffy.
  2. Add flour and salt
  3. mix well.
  4. Dissolve baking soda in boiling water and add to mixture
  5. Stir in rolled oats, raisins and chocolate chips.
  6. Drop by teaspoonful onto un-greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10-12 minutes. (make sure you allow enough room between cookies, they will spread)
  7. Don’t over cook
  8. ENJOY!!
** If you are using candy with caramel, they will stick to the cookie sheet. Be sure to remove them before they completey cool, or you will have a difficult time
*** cookie baking secret- always preheat your cookie sheets to make sure your bottoms don’t burn
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