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Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Mayo

16 Jan

After a very long break, I have added blogging to my new years resolutions. Hopefully it’s the swift kick-in-the-ass that I need to get back to sharing recipes! I am not typically one of those successful stick-to-your-resolutions types. Maybe 2014 is my year to change?? ugh, lets hope so.

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So, black bean burgers. Something I have been trying to do lately with my meal planning is be more budget friendly. I am at home full time with my son right now, with another one on the way, so smart budgeting is pretty top of my list these days. Being at home not only slashes my food budget, but also gives me a bit more time to put into smart meal planning and grocery shopping to help drive the grocery bill down. So hopefully a new theme around here is cheaper meals that are still interesting and are far from yet another plate of spaghetti  day in and day out. A way I can help bring the weekly food cost down is a more vegetarian friendly menu. So, full circle, black bean burgers!

Black Bean Burgers (adapted from skinnytaste.com)

serves 6

Ingredients:

1 red pepper, seeded and roughly chopped

1 bunch of green onions, chopped

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

2 eggs

1 1/2 tbsp cumin

1 to 2 tsp of your favourite hot sauce (optional)

1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats

2 19oz tins of black beans (if you tins are smaller reduce the amount of oats), rinsed

4 whole wheat pitas

1 avocado, sliced, for serving

Chipotle Mayo:

1 cup mayo

4 chipotles in adobo sauce (you can find these canned in the Mexican section of your food store)

Directions:

Place the red pepper, green onion, garlic, cilantro, egg, cumin ,hot sauce and oats in a food processor. Pulse until very finely chopped. Place the black beans in the food processor and pulse until they are incorporated. You should have some mixed in and some partially chopped. You do not want a completely smooth paste, it will be too wet. That being said, if your mixture ends up too wet, add in more oats a tbsp at a time until the consistency is something you can easily form into patties with your hands.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes to help the mixture firm up and to allow the flavours to combine.

Rinse your food processor clean and place the mayo and chipotles in adobo in and pulse until smooth.

Heat a frying pan to medium high heat, put a glug of olive oil in the pan and form 6 patties with the burger mixture, place the patties in the pan and cook approximately 5 minutes per side, until a nice golden brown crust forms.

Serve in a pita, topped with chipotle mayo and avocado.

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Don’t let me hold you back with my avocado suggestion though, feel free to go nuts with your toppings, tomato would be delicious as well, or really anything!

My one year old will eat these (minus the spicy mayo) and my husband also loves them (for a meatless burger that is saying something).

Remember my spaghetti comment above? Ya, well eat my words already, I have something spaghetti coming at you very soon I hope….

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

23 Nov

I don’t have much to say today. It’s Wednesday, I’m exhausted.

Stuffed peppers are simple. I need simple most nights. My work hours aren’t exactly regular.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 large peppers, halved and hollowed

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

2 cups cooked rice (I usually make extra when I am having rice as a side dish earlier in the week)

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tin black beans

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin

1 cup grated cheese

In a large fry pan saute on medium heat the onion and garlic for a few minutes, until soft. Add the rice, tomatoes, black beans and spices and saute for 10 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the peppers in a baking dish.

Fill each pepper with the rice mixture.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and place cheese on top of each pepper. Bake for another 10 minutes.

I’m experimenting with my slow cooker tomorrow. Wish me luck, I most likely need it.

Stir-fried Bok Choy

17 Nov

During my walk to work today a bird pooped on my head. True story. Then i got told over and over again how it’s good luck. There is nothing good luckish about this. All it meant was that I had to stand in the bathroom picking poop out of my hair at 7:30am. My day then went on as normal with no lottery wins or out of the ordinary events. fml.

Today is brought to you by simple side-dishes. In keeping with the simple theme this is going to be short (minus the rant above).

This is a great side when you need some greens. Goes well with pretty much any dish, but it really compliments any main dish with Asian flavours.

Stir-Fried Bok Choy

Serves 4

Ingredients:

8 cups bok choy (you can use any size bok choy you want)

1 garlic clove pressed with a garlic press

1 tsp grated ginger

1 tbsp soy sauce (use tamari for a gluten free dish)

1 tbsp oyster sauce (if you’re vegetarian or vegan leave this out)

Heat a large fry pan, preferably a wok, to medium high heat. Add a splash of oil and the boy choy. Saute for a few minutes.

Add the ginger and garlic and saute for a few more minutes. Add the soy sauce and oyster sauce, saute for one more minute. Serve.

I’m pretty sure it’s more fun if you eat it with chopsticks.

Vegetarian Enchiladas

15 Nov

I’ve returned from my transformation from Miss. P to Mrs. T. I didn’t forget about all of you, I just needed some time to get my act together in the wedding department so that I wasn’t showing up nude to a dinner of salteens and waters for 185 of my closest friends and family. Then I needed some time to lie on a beach, eat great food that I didn’t have to cook and drink blueberry mojitos. Ya, you heard that right. Blueberry mojitos. I will now spend countless hours trying to recreate these. Just what I need to be doing with my spare time. Fail.

So veggie enchiladas. I had never eaten an enchilada until i made these. (stay with me). I could not stop talking about them after my first bite. To the point where it was probably pretty annoying to be Mark, who was eating next to me, because I droned on all dinner about how good they were and how did I never know about enchiladas? Ya, the translation is I basically spent the entire dinner patting myself on the back for making such a win. I then proceeded to phone him the next day while I was eating them again for lunch and re-enact the entire self-praise thing over the phone. I’m a real gem.

Vegetarian Enchiladas (adapted from Jessica’s recipe at How Sweet Eats)

Serves 4 very hungry people

Ingredients:

1 onion finely diced

1 red pepper finely diced

1 green pepper finely diced

2 portobello mushroom caps, finely diced

1 cup of frozen corn kernels

1 tins of black beans, drained

2 tins of red enchilada sauce (around here we use the hot kind)

1 tin of refried beans

8 large whole wheat tortillas (or if you prefer to live on the edge you can get white flour tortillas)

a handful of shredded cheese (feel free to be very generous with your handful, you may want to do a few)

In a large pan saute the onion, peppers, mushroom and potato until soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the corn, black beans, 1 tin of the enchilada sauce and the refried beans. Stir to combine and heat through.

Preheat your oven to 350.

Grease a large baking dish. Assemble your enchiladas by placing some filling in a tortilla and rolling it, continue with all 8 tortillas and snuggle them all into the pan side by side.

Cover with the remaining tin of enchilada sauce and then sprinkle the handful of grated cheese over top. Bake for 1/2 an hour.

I like to serve with some sour cream (lie. I typically substitute greek yogurt for sour cream – healthy and tasty) and guacamole.

I’m going to be more of a regular on this little blog of mine. I promise.

Smashed Sweet Potato with Feta and Cilantro

12 Sep

I’m starting to think if you’re not a cilantro fan this blog isn’t very kind to you. Oops!  I’ll try to post some recipes that aren’t as heavy on it. This on could easily do without it. You could add parsley instead or just leave it out all together.

A lot of the time speed and simpleness outweighs creativity when it comes to side dishes when I’m at the helm. We eat a ton of sweet potato, but usually in the form of oven fries or just plain mashed. I know, yawn.

Smashed Sweet Potato with Feta and Cilantro (courtesy of Jamie Oliver)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 large sweet potatoes, quartered

1 yellow potato, quartered

1/2 a lemon

1/4 cup water

2 ounces feta cheese

1 fresh red chili, seeded and finely diced (or you could always use chili flakes if you don’t have a fresh chili)

1/3 cup of fresh cilantro

In a pot place the sweet and yellow potato and 1/2 a lemon. Make sure they all fit nice and snug. Put 1/4 cup of water in the bottom.

Place a lid on the pot, bring the water to a boil – this will take 2 secs, it’s only 1/4 cup of water. Then turn to medium high heat and steam the potatoes for about 15 minutes until completely cooked through. (You can also do this in the microwave. Just use a microwave safe dish with a tightly fitting lid and microwave on high for 15 minutes).

Get out a large cutting board (I use this cutting board to chop the chili and then just leave the chopped chili right on the board). put your cilantro on top of the diced chili and run your knife through it a few times so it’s roughly chopped. Place the feta on top and do the same to the feta.

Toss the lemon and drain any excess liquid from the pot. mash the potato very roughly with a fork. Turn the potatoes onto the cutting board on top of the other ingredients and chop and mix. This is very rough, no need to have smoothly mash potato. Just chop to mix in the cilantro, feta and chili.

Serve right off the cutting board.

How’s that for a spicy Monday?

Linda’s Mango-Cilantro Salad Dressing

22 Aug

Let’s talk family. I’ve got a big one. 5 younger siblings. I know, huge in modern-day standards right? As we are all getting older our family is getting larger.  The great thing is, just when you thought you’re fantastically large family couldn’t get any better one of your siblings brings in a new family member (I’m talking significant others here). This is where Linda comes in. He is my sister’s boyfriend. Ya, his name isn’t actually Linda. It’s Linn. But Linda has such a nicer ring to it doesn’t it?

Linda recently moved back out east (he hails from there). And on Friday my sister moved there too….sad. The good news is Linda still sends me recipes….and the even better news, the recipes are delicious (he has actually only sent me one – this one – Linda, get on it!).

This is fresh and the mango dressing is a really great alternative to the vinegar, oil and dijon salad dressing that I usually turn to!

Linda’s Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 box of mixed greens

1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved

2 shallots, sliced

1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/2 a red pepper, sliced

1/2 a green pepper, sliced

Feta for garnish

Mango-Cilantro Salad Dressing:

1 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup honey

zest and juice of 1 lemon

zest and juice of 1 lime

1/2 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

In a large bowl combine all the salad ingredients.

Linda’s exact wording for how to make the dressing: “throw all those dressing into a food processor and watch the mess turn into deliciousness.” He also very correctly informed me that this dressing made enough to feed a small army (however, I did discover it keeps beautifully in the fridge).

Dress and toss the salad. Sprinkle a little bit of feta over top and enjoy!

Linda says and I quote…..”as we say in the east coast, it’s “off the chainz””

Fiddleheads with Edamame and Feta

14 Jun

Before fiddlehead season is over it is imparitive that you all know about this recipe. I LOVE fiddleheads. I usually just steam them and eat them straight up. I guess Mark was getting a bit sick of this. When we got the newest Food & Drink from the LCBO he pointed out this recipe and insisted I make it.

This really adds to fiddleheads. Since we tried it the first time I can’t stop!

As I am writing this Vancouver is down 4 – 0. Lame. I was hoping for a more exciting evening. Thank god I still have you fiddleheads!

If you’re a fiddlehead lover – or dare I say it, a fiddlehead virgin, try this recipe! It’ll hook you.

Fiddleheads with Edamame and Feta (from LCBO Food & Drink, early summer 2011)

Serves 4

Ingredients:

8 oz (250 g) fresh fiddleheads

2 1/2 cups of shelled edamame

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Steam the fiddleheads until fork tender (3 to 5 minutes). Allow to cool. I buy frozen shelled edamame so I steam them according to the package directions – I suggest you go this route as well (big hint – it’s the EASIEST!). Allow to cool.

In a large bowl toss the fiddleheads and edamame with lemon juice, olive oil and feta.

We are eating this on a bi-weekly basis. Not taking advantage of fiddlehead season would be a crime!

I think I am personally eating the majority of the baby ferns in Ontario. When I put it that way it doesn’t sound so great…..something about eating and baby in the same sentence. This isn’t the same as veal. Go for it!

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