As women tend to do from time to time, I came home from work this evening with no desire to eat or prepare any of the items I imagined cooking this week. Instead, I pulled out some leftovers and put together this burrito using what was left of last night's black bean burgers.
When I originally put this recipe on the menu, I thought I was crazy. This is a really busy week for our household, and I was unsure that I would have the time to make them. However, my parents ended up being at my house at 2 o'clock this afternoon (with none of us having had lunch), and I needed to get something prepared. I had nothing else in my head that worked for the four of us; so, I cracked open my September 2010 Parents Magazine and got started. I did the burger part while my mom dealt with the veggies.
Recipe for Black Bean Burgers
1 can black beans, drained
1 medium onion, quartered
1/2-3/4 cup oats (rolled, like "Old-Fashioned")
1 T chili powder
Salt, if necessary
Dash of Pepper, if desired
Combine all ingredients (starting with just 1/2 cup oats) in a food processor and pulse until chunky, but not pureed. (I did mine in batches as I have a mini one. If too wet, add more oats. If too dry, add water, broth, or my favorite--tomato juice!. Let rest about 20 minutes according to recipe. Think I only waited about 10. Mold into patties on a griddle set at 350. You can also do this on the stove. Grease the pan if necessary.
I really hope we have better pictures than this. We just got back from Rochester, New York. Paul's Alma Mater is now home to the Vignelli archives. You may have seen some of his design work in our photos. If not, I'm sure you would recognize the New York Subway map, the Bloomingdale's logo, and American Airlines. Yeah, he's smart. Yeah, he's good. We had a fabulous time, and I can't wait to talk more about our dining experiences. Including the fact that we shipped back 4 dozen Wegman's Bagels on Sunday.
Sid Lerner, a retired Madison Avenue ad-exec, was told he had high cholesterol and high blood pressure. After doing the research, he learned that in 1950, the Americans consumed an average of 2.8 pounds of meat a week. In 2006, the amount was up by 50%. He noticed that meat took up two-thirds of the food on plates at restaurants. Although he recognized there are many sources of saturated fat, the numbers regarding meat were not encouraging. He decided not only to change his diet, but to encourage others to change as well.
Last Monday (Labor Day) we had my parents over for brunch and a swim with Nora. I think they were well entertained in the pool. What we didn't realize was that brunch would turn into lunch. I wanted to try this great recipe from Full Plate Diet's Blog for oatmeal waffles.
We're blessed to have Paul's parents here visiting for a week. We are so grateful for airplanes that allow Nora to be close to bother sets of grandparents. (My parents live in town.) I'm also blessed to be able to leave the kitchen duties to my mother-in-law while I focus on preparing for the Orlando Vegetarian Revolution. Therefore, I defer all meal planning for the week to her.
Mark your calendars for Sunday, September 26, 2010.
Eat Like a Rabbit has been asked to have a booth at the Orlando Vegetarian Revolution. My assigned topic for discussion will be "Vegetarianism in the Media." i'll have a cookbook giveaway. There will also be other booths with tastings, recipes, and lots of resources. Come eat, learn and have fun!
This wasn't a restaurant. It was a house. We were very fortunate to visit a friend of the family in Laguna Beach. And although she was very smart and entertaining with her stories, there was something else I was very impressed with. She taught me something I really, really want to reflect in my everyday life.
Photo: More playing around at the beach in California
It's Labor Day, which technically means the end of summer. Lucky for us, we live in Florida, and summer is all relative. I'm trying to stick to cold salads and the last of the summer vegetables while also cleaning out the freezer of the fall items (Sweet potatoes and applesauce are all that's left.) that will soon be replaced.
We've finally gotten our photos from our anniversary trip/family visit to California. Be on the look out for lots of stories about food! I'll start with our first, and probably favorite, restaurant visit in San Diego. We asked the concierge at the hotel what recommendations he had. Naturally, he had been coached to share the restaurants labeled on the map of the Gaslamp Quarter. But at the last minute, he pointed out a spot across from Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres.
I made this quite some time ago. And because I'm just now getting around to blogging about it, I learned a valuable lesson. Always keep pen and paper on hand when creating a recipe. You won't necessarily have time to type it out that night and may just forget what it was you wrote about. Luckily, I try to make really simple meals and know I can easily replicate this one because I used few ingredients.
Recipe for Spinach Potato Gratin
3 lbs. potatoes, diced
3 cups washed spinach
3/4 cup diced onions
3 cups garlic-almond sauce
1/2 pound cheese of choice, shredded (I believe mine was mixed to use up what was in the fridge.)
You can easily use pre-cooked potatoes with this recipe.
Mix potatoes, spinach, onions and half of the cheese together and pour into 9x13 oven-safe dish. Pour almond sauce evenly over the casserole. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 400 F about 30 minutes or until potatoes are cooked.
Recipe for Garlic-Almond Sauce
Adapted From Gourmet Magazine, April 2009
1 1/2 cups blanched almonds
5 garlic cloves
2 1/2 (or more) cups water
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
Blend equal parts almonds and water with garlic in blender.
In skillet, melt butter completely and add almond puree. Once thickened, add remaining water slowly. Add salt and crushed red pepper, if desired.
While at our new neighborhood Kid's Book Club today, the moms discussed the fun in making a group trip to Costco. (We call them field trips. And there are many others in mind. H&M for cute clothes for baby boys, etc.) We realized that about half of the group had Costco cards and the other half did not. Naturally, if you are in to saving money, the chances that some items (like diapers) will be cheaper elsewhere will be great. However, what we like about Costco is the nice variety of items, especially produce, that we're less likely to find elsewhere.
I've been just a bit lazy the last week and haven't even gotten out to do any shopping to take advantage of grocery sales. My gut tells me I am taking a chance and may regret it later. But I'll worry about it then.
Here's our pretty-decently-priced purchases at the Farmer's Market today. Locavores might not appreciate it. We were in a hurry, and I didn't realize until we got home that our bell pepper came from Canada. I was more than a little disappointed just because you imagine your Farmer's Market to be the freshest thing around. I'll be seeing what I can do about alternative sources soon. (And if you have any recommendations, please don't hesitate to share!)
We learned about Red Mango while staying with Paul's family in California last week. Actually, we had the inside scoop because Paul's cousin, Alison, worked there over the summer. She supplied us with a sample, and we went acquired our own before we left.
I'm so glad our Mommy Walk group is growing. We're up to 5, now, with a waiting list of new mom's ready to join when they have the energy. Lisa was new to the area and very much appreciated a quick way to meet other people in the neighborhood.
I'm a little overwhelmed with returning from a week-long vacation, going back to work after a two-week vacation and doing all my motherly duties. I'm hoping to still provide good meals for the week without running out to the grocery store soon, but I can't promise I won't just give up and go. Thanks to my mom and dad who at least brought us bananas, cantaloupe, plums, and milk when they picked us up at the airport. That takes a huge load off my mind.
We're back from a wonderful trip to California. We very much enjoyed the fabulous weather in comparison to the crazy heat in Florida. And naturally, the whole reason for visiting was to see family. That was very special. I also thank my darling husband for working so hard to get my computer up and running. Granted, sometimes life is grand without technology. And so I am not sorry to have been without it so much except I now have tons of posts to catch up on.
Unfortunately, we are away from home visiting family, and my computer has totally died. Since this week is about celebrating our anniversary and letting Nora get to know dear loved ones, shopping for a replacement is not in our plans. Please enjoy reviewing previos posts until we're back up and running. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
OK, first off, I don't have a grill. But you can get near it by cooking the veggies in a skillet over medium-hot flame. Secondly, I repeated this recipe a few days later as marinated vegetables. We didn't like it as well. Thirdly, I encourage you to really review my cost analysis. I knew it was a good week at the stores, but $3.00 to feed 5 people dinner is incredible! It proves you don't have to break the bank to eat healthy. It also highlights how much you can save by bringing your own lunch to work.
Recipe for Mediterranean Vegetable Pitas
5 Pita pockets, cut in half
3/4 cup Eggplant, diced
1/4 cup Onion, sliced thinly
5 Sweet peppers, sliced thinly
2 small Zuchini, sliced
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
1 teaspoon dried Herb of choice (sage, rosemary, or Italian blend, for example)
1 Small tomato, cut into wedges
5 (heaping) Tablespoons Hummus
Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add onions, stirring until slightly softened. Add eggplant, zucchini, and peppers. When vegetables are starting to brown, season with herbs. Toast pita pockets if desired. Spread with hummus. Fill with vegetables. Garnish with tomatoes. (Although there's nothing that says you can't cook the tomatoes, too. As they cook down, they'll make a yummy sauce for the veggies.) Another idea, my father asked for his sandwich to be served with balsamic vinegar.
This is the successful quinoa salad recipe I served to 25 people along with a baked potato bar last night.
Recipe for Quinoa Salad
2 cups Quinoa, uncooked
1 lb. grape tomatoes, halved
4 banana peppers, thinly sliced
1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets
3/4 can black olives, sliced
1 cup Italian dressing (homemade or store-bought)
Cook quinoa according to package directions and chill. (Can be made a day or two in advance.) Combine quinoa and vegetables in large bowl folding gently with a large spatula. Pour salad dressing over quinoa. Stir gently. Serve immediately. To marinate, chill 1-2 hours after adding dressing.
Recipe for Italian Dressing
3/4 cup Olive oil
1/4 cup Lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion pwder
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon parsley
Whisk ingredients together continuously while pouring over salad.
I really shoulda-coulda-wished I'd taken a picture of my entertaining meal tonight, but Nora was crying and needed to eat and not many people waited for me to get things together on the table before jumping in. The photo above is appropriate although not exactly accurate.
This week's Splendid Table on NPR was a repeat of a previous show, but since Orlando's 90.7 just recently began to play the show, I happily listen to reruns because they're new to me. This time, two big vegetarian ideas: Watching your "cookprint," which is the footprint you leave when you cook. And cold soups, which are most often vegetarian. I encourage you to listen to the show, in part or in full, at Splendid Table.org.
Notice in the picture that the olives are left whole and decorate the edges of the plate? Certain guests at the table refuse to touch black olives. However, I think they do add greatness to the vegetable dish. Sometimes, you have to just do what tastes good even if certain diners aren't too adventurous.
1/2 cup Frozen cherries, chopped in food processor
1/4 cup plus 1/16 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
Soften ice cream about 15 seconds in microwave. (Microwaves vary. Mine is quite strong.) Add frozen cherries and mix together quickly. Line a container with sides with parchment paper. Spread ice cream carefully onto half of the cracker. Top with other half of the cracker and press down gently. Place the sandwich in the container. Repeat with the other graham crackers. Cover container and freeze overnight. (I believe Bon Appetit recommends at least 6 hours.)
When sandwiches are frozen, microwave the chocolate chips in about 15 second increments until they are melted and smooth. Add the oil. Working with each sandwich individually, cover one side of each sandwich with chocolate. Refreeze until chocolate is firm. I wrapped my sandwiches individually. They should have lasted a day or two if wrapped and protected in a sealed container.
Running low on time and with a cranky baby, I searched online for a simple dilled potato salad recipe. Finally, I realized I was wasting too much time and gave up the search hoping I could make up a good one on my own. It worked! And I was proud to say it was about as simple as I could ever imagine.
Recipe for Dilled Potato Salad
5 small-medium russet potatoes, diced bite-sized
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/8 teaspoon lemon
1 teaspoon dry dill
1 teaspoon herbed salt
1/4 teaspoon onion powder, optional but recommended
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, optional but recommended
Boil potatoes in water until soft. Drain, rinse in cold water, and drain again. Put in large bowl and refrigerate to cool. When cooler (doesn't have to be completely cold), add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir with a spatula so as not to mash or break the potatoes. Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with sweet peppers, fresh dill, or item of your choice.
Spread butter thinly and evenly over one side of each slice of bread. Place buttered side down on flat pan set on medium heat. Place cheese and then tomato slices on the bread. Immediately top with the other slice of bread, butter side up. Cook about 5 minutes or until browned and flip over with spatula, cooking the other side of the sandwich until it's brown. If desired, place sandwich on a cutting board and slice in half wiht a pizza cutter.
Seasoning option: In the past, I have enjoyed a gentle sprinkle of onion and garlic powders on the buttered sides of the toast.
This was some Italian Ice we enjoyed a couple weeks back when friends were visiting. It was such a great little treat for a summer evening. . .a hot summer evening. All that being said, the big mistake I made last week was not focusing on summer-associated recipes for our dinners. This week will be different thanks to great deals at the grocery store and the realization that our summer is almost over. Let's all take advantage as long as it lasts!
If you're planning on going out and taking advantage of the BOGO for Toufayan Pita Bread Pockets at Publix this week, keep this in mind. The Oat Bran kind of pocket has 1 gram more fiber and at least 5 calories less per serving than the Multigrain or Whole Wheat kinds. Stunned? I was. Just one more way reading the label (occasionally) pays off!
When you have foods, you naturally need to find a way to use them. I had an odd selection of items that led to the creation of this recipe. Luckily, my husband was rather impressed with it, and we both enjoyed it. A warning: It was very filling, and for a light Sunday afternoon snack, we were happy eating just half for each of us.
Recipe for Spinach Pesto Quesadilla
2 Large Flour Tortillas
1/2 cup Spinach Basil Pesto
1/2 large tomato, sliced
5 black olives, sliced in thirds
1/4 shredded Parm/Reg or Jarlsberg Cheese
Warm a large skillet over medium heat. Place one flour tortilla on the skillet. Spread basil evenly to the edges of the tortilla. Top evenly with tomato slices and olives. Sprinkle cheese on top and cover with second tortilla. Warm until light brown and crisped on one side. Flip over
and cook on the other side. Slice with a pizza slicer (on a cutting board so you don't mess up your skillet).
Our apricots were perfectly ripe. It was time to experiment as much as I wanted! I mashed just one and served it over a scoop of vanilla ice cream with caramel cookies on the side. So fast. So easy. And healthier than many alternative toppings!
We're excited to be planning a shopping trip to Trader Joe's very soon. This weekend Paul and I decided to clean out our TJ's shelf in the pantry. Naturally, we're not completely done yet, but it's great to have a bare shelf to refill. One of the recipes we put together for using up our collection was a trail mix, which I was quite proud of.
Although I had planned to serve roasted cauliflower over the ravioli, the oven was in use on another baking project. And the tomatoes looked like they wanted to be eaten. And when all was said and done, my husband was just thrilled with the sauce and so was I. The creamy cheese filling of the ravioli offset the chunkier sauce and eliminated the need for a cheese topping. I was quite pleased how a little bit of ravioli goes a long way.
Cauliflower Tomato Sauce
1 cup chopped cauliflower
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 large tomato, diced
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon each onion powder, garlic powder, salt
Sautee onion in 1 tablespoon oil on medium heat until half cooked, about 5 minutes. Add cauliflower and stir. Cook another 5 minutes. Add tomato and cook until done. Halfway through the cooking process, I like to add the extra oil and seasonings. Some people like the tomato cooked longer and therefore add it earlier. The choice is yours.
Easy and beautiful, this dessert was created out of desperation. I had Egg Roll Wrappers at the end of their life, and I had apricots getting soft. Surely I could do something with them. And just for the record, I couldn't make a shortcake or other sweet cake because I used the last of my sugar on a double batch of sweet potato muffins earlier in the week.
I spent a few minutes searching online and finally gave up, creating my own recipe.
Add the optional almond flavoring to the apricot and mix well. Divide the mashed apricot into four equal parts. Spoon the apricot into the center of a wrapper square. Brush water around the edges of the wrapper. Lay a second wrapper on top and seal by pressing edges together. Repeat with other wrappers and apricot filling. Boil ravioli in water about 5 minutes or until the ravioli floats. Drain and place on a plate, dusting with powdered sugar or beside a dot of honey.
You might call this a replay, but it didn't matter because it went over so well. I made kabobs alternating in new particular order carrot slices, sweet potato slices, Redi-Burger chunks, sweet pepper slices, and chunks of onion. It is recommended to pre-cook the carrots and sweet potatoes. Grilled would have been much more fun, but I was running out of time. Instead, I brushed the kabobs with oil and broiled them. Hence the crisped skewers.
I have a confession to make. Even though I my husband is very technology inclined, I am not. And most of the time, I have no desire to be so. However, he and his friend, Travis, are encouraging me to try out this application on my iPhone. Since my phone is less of a turn-off to me because I don't associate it with work as much any more now that I'm trying to hand over the supervisory reins, I'm happy to consider using iPhone apps to improve my organization and quality of life.
Last night's project requires a lot of explaining. One of the first contact emails I ever received on Eat Like a Rabbit was from my mother-in-law recommending the Cauliflower Paprikash recipe in Moosewood Cooks at Home. It has taken me these two years to get up the nerve to make it--with a few adjustments.
Yesterday, I made only my second run to the Food Pantry at the College. I was meeting some of Paul's coworkers for lunch. They are becoming good friends and fans of Eat Like a Rabbit, too! Anyway, they saw the bags as Paul was lugging them into Student Services and said it was so nice of us to do the giveaway. I kept insisting, I did not do it on my own. It was a combination efforts from friends, too. And we all love helping out those less fortunate.
Partly about sanity, partly about losing the baby weight, some of the other moms in the neighborhood and I get together and walk around the neighborhood. We enjoy the conversation between adults (even though it's often about the kids) and are proud to be instilling the early habit and value in our kids about Vitamin D, fresh air, and physical activity.
We're so glad our group is growing. And we're glad to finally have a baby boy in the group! Sorry, we don't have any boy clothes to share!
We didn't get around to making oatmeal this weekend. We didn't get around to stocking the freezer with PB&Js, either. But it's on the list for next week. What I did get done was a batch of sweet potato chocolate chip muffins, four of which went to friends down the street who greet us when we walk and four of which went to new neighbors with a new baby. I love sharing the happiness and goodness of life! Another batch is on the books for this week followed by a batch of banana bread.
I won a gift pack from Right at Home and SC Johnson! I was quite excited as I rarely win anything. Most everything in the box was something I would use regularly. . .except the Ziplock containers. We like glass. I took the freebie supply and this great post and came up with a foodie gift plan that I intend to use regularly from now on.
Ranch Dressing a la Claire
1 C mayonnaise
1 t onion powder
½ t garlic powder
¼ t celery seed powder
dash red pepper
1 t lemon juice
½ t sugar (optional)
1 t sweet basil
2 t parsley
1 t chives
¼ t salt or to taste
¼ C milk or ½ C milk
Mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, and dry ingredients. Add ¼ cup milk for dip or ½ cup milk for salad dressing. This makes a good dressing for cole slaw.
Variation: 1,000 Island: Add ¼ cup dill pickles, finely chopped and 1 tablespoon ketchup.
1 C sifted all-purpose flour
¾ t salt
¾ t Sugar (optional)
¼ C vegetable oil
2 T skim milk
Preheat oven to 475° (very hot), or according to recipe for filling. Mix flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Combine oil and milk in measuring cup and pour all at once over flour mixture. Stir with fork until mixed.
Shape into a ball, place on sheet of waxed paper, flatten, and cover with another sheet of waxed paper. Roll out with a rolling pin (dampen table top if necessary to prevent slipping) and peel off top paper. Turn dough upside-down over pie pan, peel off bottom paper, and fit dough into pan. Trim. If dough tears, mend without moistening. Flute edge. If crust is to be baked before filling is added, prick pastry all over with a fork and bake about 10 minutes. Cool before adding filling. If filling is to be baked with pie, do not prick crust, and follow directions of your recipe. (For a 2-crust pie, make double amount of pastry and divide into two balls.) Makes one 8- or 9-inch pie crust.
1 3/4 C sifted all-purpose flour
4 t baking powder
1 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cream of tartar
1/2 C butter or margarine
2/3 C milk
Sift flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and cream of tartar. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk and stir with fork until soft dough is formed. Turn out on lightly floured board and pat or roll lightly until dough is 1/2 inch thick. Cut with floured 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Yield: 16 biscuits.
1 C sifted al-purpose flour
1 ½ t baking powder
1 ½ t sugar
½ t salt
¾ C milk
2 T cooking oil
Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Beat eggs until thick; add milk and oil. Add flour mixture and blend until smooth. Pour 1 cup batter onto preheated grid. Close unit and bake until light goes off. Yield: 4 large waffles.